Recently in federal acquisition Category

Navy Seeks Renewable Resources Through a WAPA RFP

October 7, 2014

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.

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The Department of Defense Seeks Contracts for Purchase of Renewable Energy Credits

February 11, 2014

The Defense Logistics Agency today issued a presolicitation notice indicating that it will seek Basic Ordering Agreements ("BOAs") for the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates ("RECs") by the Department of Defense and associated civilian agencies. RECs will be purchased from solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass generators during the five-year period from May 2014 through May 2019. The notice indicates that a formal Request for Proposals will be issued in March.

A BOA is akin to the master agreements, such as the WSPP Agreement, familiar to many in the power industry. While the BOA does not guarantee that any particular quantity of RECs will be purchased, it sets forth the basic terms of the contract so that purchases can be made on an expedited basis.

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Pew Study Documents Progress in Military Renewables, Reliability and Efficiency Efforts

January 28, 2014

The U.S. military is making substantial progress toward its goals of acquiring 3 GW of renewable energy by 2025, substantially reducing energy use, and improving the reliability of power delivery to military bases, according to a recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The progress attained so far demonstrates the seriousness of the military's commitment to renewable energy, energy conservation, and reliability, and confirms that the Department of Defense ("DOD") energy initiatives represent a huge opportunity for private-sector energy developers.

The DOD initiatives arise from both Congressional mandates requiring increased use of renewable fuels and from recognition within the armed services that continued reliance on fossil fuels and an aging electric infrastructure creates unacceptable security vulnerabilities. For example, the Defense Science Board's influential 2008 report, "More Fight, Less Fuel," identified the military's continued reliance on fossil fuels, and the fragile supply lines associated with that dependence, as a major security problem for military operations around the world. "Unleashing the tether" that ties troops to vulnerable fuel supplies therefore became a major strategic objective. Similarly, the report concluded that serious security risks arise from the dependence of U.S. military bases on an aging electricity infrastructure that exposes bases to increasingly frequent power outages.

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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.

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More Military Movement: Department of Defense and Department of Interior Sign MOU Encouraging Development of Renewable Energy on Federal Lands

August 9, 2012

To support the twin goals of increasing the nation's energy security and promoting development of renewable energy resources, the Department of Defense ("DOD") and Department of the Interior ("DOI") recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding ("MOU") focusing on 13 million acres of federal land that have been "withdrawn" for military purposes, as well as lands on the Outer Continental Shelf ("OCS") suitable for offshore wind development. By clarifying jurisdictional lines and administrative responsibilities, the MOU helps ease renewable energy development, especially for wind, solar, and geothermal power.

In the West, millions of acres of federal land have been "withdrawn" from general use, and instead have been reserved for military uses, principally military bases and vast training ranges such as those in central Washington, southwest Idaho, southern Nevada, and eastern California. The MOU promises cooperation between DOD and DOI to encourage development of geothermal, solar, and wind resources on these lands. Without such cooperation, developing these lands can be a daunting prospect. For example, in may cases, withdrawn lands under DOI jurisdiction are interspersed with DOD-owned lands, resulting in different legal regimes governing immediately adjacent parcels. If these obstacles can be overcome, the potential pay-off is huge. For example, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has estimated that military bases in the continental U.S. have the potential to produce between 630 and 926 GW of electric power from geothermal resources.

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The Army Opens a New Front in the Battle for Renewables: A $7 Billion RFP for Renewable Energy to Serve Army Bases

August 8, 2012

On August 7, the U.S. Army issued a long-anticipated Request for Proposals, seeking up to $7 billion worth of renewable energy to serve U.S. Army bases. The RFP is part of larger initiative launched by the Department of Defense ("DOD") to produce one gigawatt of power on defense bases by 2025. Responses to the RFP are due by October 5, 2012. The Army will accept comments on the RFP from interested parties through August 24.

The RFP seeks offers from renewable energy producers for projects to be constructed on private lands or lands controlled by the DOD. Rather than seeking ownership of the generation projects, the Army will simply purchase output from the projects under Power Purchase Agreements ("PPAs") similar those generally used in the utility sector. The project owner will be expected to finance, construct, own, and operate the generator.

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