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News | March 15, 2017

DLA Energy, Air Force continue work toward energy security, savings

By DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy continues to provide comprehensive energy solutions to the military services by awarding its largest solar energy contract for the U.S. Air Force.

Working with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, DLA Energy awarded a contract for a 28.2 megawatt on-site solar energy production facility that projects a significant cost savings of up to 35 percent of Vandenberg’s current electricity load.

“We worked diligently with Vandenberg’s project team, along with the Air Force Civil Engineer Center, on completing this complex acquisition and we are excited to finally award the contract,” said Cynthia Ralph, DLA Energy Installation Energy contracting officer. “These efforts continue to expand our knowledge and the depth and breadth of our program.”

The solar energy production facility will be installed on 129 acres of Vandenberg’s land. This facility will re-purpose a former housing site located on abandoned land. In addition, the project will be micro-grid capable, allowing for energy security enhancements to the Air Force base in the future. 

Once finished, the solar array will provide approximately 54,500 megawatt hours of renewable energy to the base annually. Instead of having to appropriate millions of dollars and resources to build the solar energy production facility, Vandenberg AFB will purchase the electricity generated from the facility under a 25-year renewable energy supply agreement. 

“The chosen business model benefits the Air Force in its ability to enter a long-term contract with a third party thereby avoiding the need to maintain and invest into capital-intensive projects,” said Dick Fillman, AFCEC renewable project manager. “Combined with the energy and environmental benefits, this is a great project for the base and the Air Force.”

Once the facility is operational, it will reduce annual emissions of carbon dioxide by approximately 38,000 metric tons, the equivalent of removing 8,000 vehicles off the road. Construction on the solar energy production facility will begin in spring 2017 with completion slated for February 2018.

“The Air Force has made a big investment in the future of energy resilience by committing to this project,” Ralph said. “This results in a big win for the environment as well as for Vandenberg AFB who will be benefiting from a lower cost of energy. It has been a pleasure working with the Air Force’s team on this project and we look forward to our long-term partnership.”