Last week, the Western Area Power Administration ("WAPA") issued a Request for Proposals ("RFP") seeking renewable energy for Navy bases located in WAPA's California service territory. The RFP seeks bids for new renewable generation projects with up to 150 MW of capacity.
Several details of the RFP are worthy of note. First, rather than seek to purchase renewable project output directly, the Navy has employed WAPA to purchase energy on its behalf. Because WAPA, rather than the Navy, is the purchaser, the Federal Acquisition Regulations do not apply, which should significantly simplify the purchasing process. In addition, the Navy will benefit from WAPA's expertise in the energy markets. The unique arrangement could serve as a useful model for purchases by the Department of Defense in other parts of the country served by federal power marketing administrations. Such administrative innovations may be necessary if the Department of Defense is to reach its ambitious goals of obtaining 25% of its energy from renewable resources by 2025.