Private money is financing privately developed renewable energy projects, beginning with geothermal, that will power U.S. military installations.
EARTHTECHLING, PETE DANKO: MAY 10, 2013
It’s not like the U.S. Army has been standing still on renewable energy. Not at all. Energy performance savings contracts (which pay the developer through savings that flow from projects) have driven projects at bases from Texas to Puerto Rico and who can forget the recently completed solar power plant at White Sands in New Mexico, which happens to be the world’s largest low concentrating PV plant?
But the big gun in the Army’s renewable energy arsenal goes by the name Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production for DoD Installations, and uses a device called MATOC – Multiple Award Task Order Contracts – that will give the service the ability to source $7 billion in renewable energy.
This is an initiative that has its roots in Bush 43-era legislation and has been step-by-step developed by the Obama Department of Defense over the past couple of years. Now an initial round of contracts has gone out to five companies that will help hook the Army up with geothermal power. According to the Army:
The five companies awarded contracts for use in competing and awarding PPA task orders using geothermal technology are Constellation NewEnergy, Baltimore, Md.; ECC Renewables, Burlingame, Calif.; Enel Green Power North America , Andover, Mass.; LTC Federal, Detroit; and Siemens Government Technologies, Arlington, Va. The contracts provide a three-year base with seven one-year options, for a total ordering period of 10 years. Having these contracts in place will expedite the acquisition process for future projects.
As the term “PPA” – power purchase agreement – indicates, these deals won’t lead to the Army owning renewable energy generating facilities; instead, the developers, using private financing, will. In a sense, the Army will take advantage of the kind of utility-bill-trimming a