FORT HOOD, Texas –
The Army’s energy needs are getting another boost thanks to a first-ever hybrid solar and wind energy contract with projected savings of at least $168 million in energy costs over the next few decades at Fort Hood.
Working with the Army Office of Energy Initiatives and Fort Hood, Defense Logistics Agency Energy awarded the contract Jan. 15.
"This project demonstrates that renewable energy can both decrease costs and increase the security and resiliency of our installations," said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant Secretary of the Army Energy and Sustainability.
Once complete, the project will provide Fort Hood with 65 megawatts alternating current, with the on-site solar system providing 15 megawatts AC and the remaining energy coming from a 50 megawatt off-site wind facility.
The firm-fixed price contract for renewable energy is lower than the projected prices for conventional energy and will provide Fort Hood with greater budget stability for electricity over the 28-year delivery period.
This is DLA Energy’s third contract award in the last 15 months supporting the Army in its integration of large scale renewable energy generation.
Prior to the Fort Hood contract, DLA Energy awarded renewable energy projects on behalf of the Army to tie into 28 megawatts of on-site biomass energy at Fort Drum, New York, and 15 megawatts of on-site solar energy at Fort Detrick, Maryland.
“These efforts continue to expand our knowledge and the depth and breadth of our program,” said Pam Griffith, director of DLA Energy's Installation Energy.
DLA Energy procures more than $400 million annually in electricity and renewable energy in support of Defense Department installations; however, this is DLA Energy’s first contract that includes provisioning and purchasing electricity from newly constructed on and off-site generation assets using two different renewable energy technologies.
Since solar and wind are intermittent resources, the deal also includes the purchase of electricity from conventional resources to supplement the renewable energy to ensure Fort Hood’s full electricity demand is satisfied, Griffith said.
“We are very pleased with the recent award of a large scale renewable energy contract as it will allow Fort Hood to utilize sun and wind resources to generate nearly half of our electricity needs over the course of a year, at a cost lower than we are paying now,” said Army Col. Todd Fox, Fort Hood U.S. Army Garrison commander.
“The 30-year power purchase agreement will lock in these low rates for energy generated from an on-post solar field and wind turbines located in the panhandle of Texas,” Fox said. “We appreciate the hard work and support from the Office of Energy Initiatives, the Corps of Engineers and the Defense Logistics Agency [Energy] who worked with our Garrison staff for more than two years to plan and coordinate this project.”
In addition to the Army efforts, DLA Energy is also engaged in the acquisition of on and off-site projects supporting various Air Force and Naval facilities located in California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.
“We are focused on delivering solutions that support our warfighters and their mission,” Griffith said. “These projects help improve the sustainability and security of our installations at affordable rates.”
The Fort Hood project team included representatives from DLA Energy, the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, the Fort Hood Department of Public Works and Environmental Offices and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer’s Headquarters and Fort Worth district offices.
“We worked diligently with the project team on completing this complex acquisition and are excited to finally reach contract award,” said Andrea Kincaid, chief of DLA Energy Installation Energy’s Renewable Energy team. “Representatives from the serving utility [company] were also integral to the project effort.”
This project brings the Army closer to President Barack Obama’s announcement of DoD’s commitment to clean energy with the promise to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy – including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal – on Army, Navy and Air Force installations by 2025.
A groundbreaking ceremony at Fort Hood is scheduled for Jan. 28.