U.S. Army’s $7 Billion Interest In Renewable Energy

Slowly but surely, the U.S. armed forces are getting serious about renewable energy.

In April 2012, the White House announced the Defense Department 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, enough energy to power 750,000 homes. The Army’s share of the initiative was the energy goal of generating one gigawatt.

Four months later, on 7 August 2012, the Army announced a $7 billion Multiple Award Task Contract (MATOC) Request for Proposal (RFP), designed to assist the Army in procuring reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energythrough Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) for up to 30 years.

Since January 2014 the U.S. Army has added 21 companies to its $7 billion large-scale renewable and alternative energy power production MATOC program, covering work to develop and produce renewable energy for the Army and Defense Department. According to the Army Corps of Engineers, 79 contractors are now involved in the three decade program, with those selected competing for task orders to provide renewable energy by owning, operating and maintaining the energy assets.

Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center commander Col. Robert Ruch said, “We are adding these additional companies to those already in the technology pools to ensure we have enough pre-qualified companies ready to submit proposals on task orders as they come up. Huntsville Center is doing everything we can to ensure task orders for future projects will be awarded as quickly as possible.”

The program’s renewable energy mandate is very broad; 38 companies are competing for work in the program’s solar technology area, 20 in wind, 15 in biomass and six in geothermal and the new round of selections includes 15 for solar, three for wind and two for biomass. The second round of MATOC awards follows the original August 2012 Request For Proposal (RFP) which allowed for immediate awards to firms within the competitive range and additional awards to firms that after further government evaluation qualified.

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