US Army seeks 35MW clean power

The US Army is seeking proposals from private contractors to finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain an estimated 15MW solar PV facility at Fort Irwin in California, and sell the power to the base.

The Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) emphasizes that it will only purchase the energy for up to 25 years and not become owner of the proposed facility at a later date.

For more on EITF, which works with military installations and the private sector on renewable energy projects larger than 10MW, see the May issue of Recharge magazine.

Companies interested in the project have until 1 July to respond to the solicitation.

Separately, the Army’s Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, Alabama, has informed private developers that it wants to locate a facility at the Redstone Arsenal there that will supply at least 20MW of renewable power and also steam to the base.

Before issuing a request for proposals, the center in coordination with EITF, is performing market research to determine which companies have the capability to execute the requirements outlined for this project.  Interested companies should contact the center by 7 June.

The Army intends to purchase the energy and steam for up to 30 years, and not acquire any generation assets.  The eventual contractor would also be required to make the project economics work and maintain the facility.

The Redstone Arsenal, which includes the Army’s Aviation and Missile Command centre, was effectively shut down in April 2011 after it lost power when tornados damaged the electric grid dozens of miles away. Since then, the Army has been looking to utilize more renewables to improve the base’s power supply.