Major Smart Grid and Solar Opportunities From the Department of Defense

February 28, 2013

Recognizing that continued reliance on fossil fuels creates severe threats to military security, the Department of Defense has launched an aggressive program to power military bases using renewable energy and to find non-fossil alternatives such as biofuels for the nation's naval and warplane fleets, as we have previously reported.. Two recently-announced opportunities demonstrate the potentially enormous stakes involved.

First, the U.S. Navy recently announced an RFP to build "smart grid" integrated electronic controls for energy, water, and maintenance systems at Naval Station Everett, Naval Base Kitsap Bangor, the Jim Creek Naval Station, and the Pacific Beach Naval Station, all located here in Western Washington. The Navy estimates it will spend $5 to $10 million on the contract. The contract is subject to a special set-aside for small businesses and is limited to companies from the Pacific Northwest Region. Initial responses to the RFP are due on March 13, 2013.

Second, moving forward with plans to power military bases on a self-sustaining basis from renewable resources, the Defense Logistics Agency Energy has issued an RFP for construction of a 15 MW solar array at Fort Detrick, Maryland. The due date for responses to the RFP was recently moved back to March 28, 2013. Along with Fort Detrick, the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force has identified three other bases where solar arrays are planned. These include 20 MW arrays planned for Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Irwin, California, and a 50 MW array planned for Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this post, please contact a member of GTH's Energy, Telecommunications, and Utilities practice group. In addition, GTH-Government Affairs offers comprehensive government relations services, including advocacy, research, and strategic advice in both Olympia and Washington, D.C. Maj. Gen. (ret) Tim Lowenberg, a GTH-GA Vice President who recently became Of Counsel to the GTH law firm, is a 44-year veteran of the military. Combined with GTH's extensive experience in renewable energy develop, Maj. Gen. Lowenberg's military experiences gives our firm unique insights to help guide clients through the often complex and daunting world of contracting with the military on energy projects.