Earlier this week, the army announced that it had picked 17 wind companies that will be eligible to compete for a piece of its planned $7 billion in renewable energy purchases.
It selected the companies out of 45 firms that applied, based on criteria including financial capability, management approach and past performance, said Tonju Butler, the procurement contracting officer at the US Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Alabama.
The US Department of Defence is mandated to meet at least 25% of the energy needs of its facilities with renewables by 2025. To meet that goal, the army plans to deploy 1GW of renewable energy at its installations in the US by 2025. But, said Butler, it does not want to own or operate the facilities. Instead it will identify viable projects and have the pre-qualified contractors compete for the opportunity to develop them, signing power purchase agreements of up to 30 years with the winning bidder.
"The competitively-selected contractor will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the energy plants over the term of the contract," Butler said.
However, no wind energy projects have been finalised yet, and Butler did not predict how much of the army's goal might be met with wind. It does have some projects in mind, though. The US Army's Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) is actively assessing approximately 200 megawatts of wind opportunities," says Army spokesman Dave Foster.
The army is interested in several renewable energy technologies, and has already pre-qualified 22 eligible solar and five geothermal contractors. It plans to select potential biomass suppliers by the end of the year.
Acciona Energy North America was pre-qualified on both the wind and solar side. "The Department of Defence has made one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, and Acciona looks forward to the business opportunities this will create," said CEO Ilya Hartmann.
The other wind energy companies selected are:
- Cobra Industrial Services, Houston, Texas
- Dominion Energy, Richmond, Virginia
- Duke Energy, Charlotte, North Carolina
- EDF Renewable Energy, San Diego, California
- Emerald Infrastructure, San Antonio, Texas
- Enel Green Power North America, Andover, Massachusetts
- EverPower Wind Holdings, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- First Wind, Boston, Massachusetts
- Iberdrola Renewables, Portland, Oregon
- LTC Federal, Detroit, Michigan
- Northland Power, Toronto, Ontario
- Siemens Government Technologies, Arlington, Virginia
- Stronghold Engineering, Riverside, California
- Turn Key Power Consortium, Orlando, Florida
- VERT Investment Group, Houston, Texas
- West Texas Power Company, San Angelo, Texas