Renewable Alternative Energy and Power Production for DoD Installations


Today’s blog post is from the Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E).

This week, I joined Ms. Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, LTG Tom Bostick, Army’s Chief of Engineering and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), MG Ken Cox, Deputy Commanding General of USACE and Stuart Hazlett, Director of Contracting, USACE in announcing the release of a $7 billion Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) Request for Proposal (RFP).

This is truly a week for the U.S. Army to take pride in the strides it’s making toward managing its energy resources and developing new, clean, renewable energy.  The release of this MATOC RFP by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers demonstrates the Army’s commitment toward installation energy security, mission readiness and resilience. This MATOC’s 7 billion dollar in contract capacity will procure reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energy through Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for up to 30 years.

Ms. Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E)

This past April, the White House announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) was making one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, by setting a goal to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass, or geothermal – on Army, Navy and Air Force installations by 2025 – that is enough energy to power 750,000 homes.  The Army’s goal is one gigawatt of that total.  These goals support the broader DoD goal to enhance installation energy security and reduce installation energy costs.

You might be asking why do we have these goals?  By diversifying our installation’s energy sources to include sustainable, renewable energy, we improve our ability to fulfill our missions during energy interruptions and to better manage energy price volatility.  Energy budget assurance is energy security, just as is providing for the continuity of operations.  Army energy security and sustainability are operationally necessary, financially prudent and mission critical.

The $7 billion MATOC RFP will help us fill those goals.  This MATOC is a key contracting vehicle that will be used to procure reliable renewable and alternative energy through establishing a pool of qualified firms and contractors with solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal technologies to compete for individual PPAs.

Our approach allows the Army to purchase the energy that is produced; no generation assets will be required.  Selected contractors of the MATOC will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the energy plants. The government will then contract to purchase the power for up to 30 years in accordance with the terms and conditions stipulated in project specific agreements. Then will result from task orders competitively awarded under the MATOC.  Project locations may be on any federal property located within the U.S. including Alaska, Hawaii, territories, provinces or other property under the control of the U.S. government.

By awarding the contract, the Army increases its agility through streamlining acquisition processes to develop large-scale renewable energy projects using private sector financing.  This approach will help speed overall project development timelines to ensure the best value to the Army and private sector.

Last year, Secretary McHugh established the U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force’s (EITF), which opened its doors on September 15, 2011.  The EITF now serves as the Army’s central management office for partnering with Army installations to implement cost-effective, large-scale, renewable energy projects, leveraging third party financing.  The MATOC is one of the contract vehicles that will help support the EITF in its efforts to meet its mission.

Back then the Secretary announced that “you’ll see the Army will leverage opportunities through existing contract authorities, such as PPAs, enhanced-use lease agreements, energy savings performance and utilities service contracts.”

The MATOC RFP is a good example of this commitment and the Army’s budgeting stewardship.  We are leveraging an existing authority, 10 USC 2922a, which gives the DoD the unique authority to contract for renewable energy Power Purchase Agreements for up to 30 years.

We believe this MATOC RFP – Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production for DoD Installations – will be a major contributor to achieving the Army’s renewable energy goals and ensuring the Army of tomorrow has the same access to energy, water, land and natural resources as the Army of today.

A pre-proposal conference for interested bidders will take place at the end of August.  The location and registration will be announced at a later date.

I encourage you to visit the EITF’s Website and the Federal Business Opportunities Website for more information about the MATOC RFP.

I am proud of the work we’ve done.