As we have written previously, the Departments of Defense (DOD) and Interior (DOI) are aggressively moving forward on developing renewable energy, such as wind, solar and geothermal power. Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the federal government has committed to developing renewable energy on federal lands for military use. This partnership is critical to DOD’s efforts to enhance energy security and reliability and to reach its goal of obtaining 25 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2025. Further, the Army, Navy, and Air Force have committed to deploying one gigawatt each of renewable energy on their installations by 2025. The MOU focuses on three specific categories: offshore wind development; military installation renewable energy development, particularly on military lands in the West that offer solar wind and geothermal resources; and Alaska renewable energy development, particularly to remote, off-grid locations.

As a first step towards meeting its goal, the Army this week announced a Request for Proposal (RFP) for $7 billion in contracts to purchase renewable energy for military installations. The RFP would be used to enter into purchase power agreements of up to 30 years from renewable energy facilities constructed and operated by private developers. Last month, the Army announced it plans to proceed with four utility-scale renewable power projects: a 20 MW solar project at Fort Irwin, California; a 20 MW solar project at Fort Bliss, Texas; a 15 MW solar project at Fort Detrick, Maryland; and a 50 MW biofuel project at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The solicitation for the Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production for DoD Installations is posted on the Federal Business Opportunities Website at www.fbo.gov or http://go.usa.gov/Gd6. The Army plans to host a pre-proposal conference in late August.