Industry Focuses on Solar Project at Ft. Irwin

Interest is sky-high in the Army’s effort to procure renewable energy from large-scale projects, as demonstrated by the 170-plus industry representatives who braved 107-degree heat earlier this month to learn about a request for proposals to develop a solar photovoltaic plant at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, Calif.

“This is the most interest we’ve seen from the development community for a pre-proposal event,” said Alan King, director of project execution for the service’s Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF).

The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Energy, in coordination with the EITF, is leading the effort to procure renewable energy at Fort Irwin via a power purchase agreement for up to 25 years. The Army estimates the system would be 15 megawatts, according to the task force. The EITF, established in September 2011, serves as the Army’s central office for acquiring large-scale renewable energy projects needed to improve the service’s energy security and increase its share of energy obtained from renewable sources.

“This and several other projects we’ve launched in the last six months reinforce the key role the EITF plays in supporting U.S. Army installations with secure and reliable renewable energy,”  King said.

The EITF has screened more than 180 installations to identify sites with the greatest potential for projects of 10 megawatts or greater. The task force has worked with DLA Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center-Huntsville on the release of three other RFPs — a 15-megawatt photovoltaic system at Fort Detrick, Md.; a 28-megawatt biomass generation facility at Fort Drum, N.Y.; and a 20-megawatt solar system at Fort Bliss, Texas.

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