The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, working with the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI) and the U.S. Army Garrison - Redstone Arsenal, issued a notice of intent to award to Sunpower Corporation today for a solar facility on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, capable of producing up to 18,000 megawatt-hours/year of on-site renewable energy.
The notice of intent to award does not constitute a formal contract award, but it is a major milestone that brings Team Redstone closer to a contract award and groundbreaking. In the coming months, Sunpower Corporation and the Army project team will work to finalize the technical and legal requirements of the project.
The project, developed by Redstone Arsenal's Directorate of Public Works, the OEI and the Huntsville Center's Energy Division, is the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) project solicited through the renewable and alternative energy Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) awarded by Huntsville Center in 2013.
"This is a huge milestone toward our energy security and turning this vision into reality for the Arsenal," said Col. Bill Marks, Garrison Commander, Redstone Arsenal. "This solar project will generate power that will make the Arsenal more secure, efficient and environmentally friendly."
All electricity from the solar photovoltaic (PV) facility will be purchased at a cost equal to or less than current power costs and consumed by Redstone Arsenal. The solar PV system will also be designed as "micro-grid ready" so that it may be connected to a future micro-grid and thereby contribute to the overall energy security of the installation.
"We're excited to announce the intent to award for this project," said Col. Robert Ruch, the Huntsville Center commander. "While the MATOC can be used to award renewable energy projects on DOD installations, it's fitting that the first project awarded under the MATOC be in our backyard. It will be great to be able to watch the progress of the project once construction gets underway. We've been working with the OEI and Redstone Arsenal a long time to get to this point."
The Redstone Arsenal project is just one example of how the OEI is strengthening the Army's energy security and sustainability by developing and executing cost-effective, large-scale renewable energy projects leveraging private sector financing.
The original request for proposal closed Oct. 2. Under the PPA, the Army will only purchase the energy that is produced at the on-site solar energy generation facility; no generation assets will be acquired. The selected contractor will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the production facilities.