The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, working with the U.S. Army Garrison, Fort Campbell, Kentucky, awarded a $15 million contract Wednesday to Bithenergy Inc., a Baltimore-based small business, for a 3.1 mega-watt solar array that will complete the installation’s state grant requirement for a 5 MW solar array.
The contract, also known as a Renewable Energy Service Agreement (RESA), is the first small scale contract awarded against Huntsville Center’s Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Program Multiple Award Task Order Contract.
The 27-year RESA for the 3.1 MW array is phase two of Fort Campbell’s 5 MW solar array, which will be the largest Army solar array in Kentucky. Construction is expected to be complete in October. The RESA is being funded through third-party financing and an $800,000 grant provided by the Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program. Phase one, completed in September 2015, is a 1.9 MW portion of the array being executed through a 10-year Utility Energy Services Contract (UESC) with Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation and a $3.1 million Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy grant from the State of Kentucky.
Through the RESA, the Army will purchase and consume the energy that is produced at the on-site renewable energy generation facility. The contractor will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the production facilities on 25 acres of land leased from Fort Campbell during the entire contract period of performance.
The award culminates a Huntsville Center-led project development and acquisition effort, with reach-back support from the Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), using two third party finance vehicles together (3.1 MW PPA and 1.9 MW UESC) to optimally meet the 5 MW renewable energy requirements at Fort Campbell.
“This project truly showcases how the Army can be innovative and effectively leverage the energy tool box to meet an installation’s renewable, security and resiliency needs,” said Paul Robinson, chief of Huntsville Center’s Energy Division.
Huntsville Center’s PPA Program provides life cycle project management and serves as an acquisition partner to the OEI for large renewable energy projects (10 MW or greater). Huntsville Center also provides project development and full administration of small scale renewable energy projects (less than 10 MW) in direct support to Army and Department of Defense installations.
The UESC Program negotiates contracts with local electric, gas and water utility companies that enable the utility companies to provide federal agency customers with comprehensive energy and water efficiency improvements and demand reduction services.