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We’ve been following the US Army Corps of Engineers’ ambitious $7 billion renewable energy plan, and it looks like the first round of contracts has concluded with smooth sailing. The public-private initiative will use Department of Defense properties as sites for utility scale solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass facilities that will be built and operated by private companies. DoD in turn will benefit from access to cheaper, safer, more reliable power. The first three areas were awarded earlier this year, with biomass bringing up the rear.

 

Since the facilities will be built under power purchase agreements, the US taxpayer does not bear any up-front costs (the figure of $7 billion refers to the value of the energy). Related Articles

 

$7 Billion For Renewable Energy

 

As with the other three areas, the biomass awards are what DoD calls Multiple Award Task Order Contracts, which are typically used for engineering and architecture services. Basically, it’s a way to streamline the contracting procedure by pre-qualifying bidders, before the actual jobs are identified.

 

That will depend on site assessments and analysis for cost-effective opportunities to convert biomass, including municipal solid waste, to energy. Once the sites are identified, the next step is for USACE to issue competitive request-for-proposals to the eligible bidders.

 

The streamlined procedure puts the Corps of Engineers in synch with the Army’s new Energy Initiatives Task Force, a team of experts who have the experience to package utility-scale facilities at Army bases. That relieves individual base commanders from having to reinvent the wheel with every new project.

 

The companies tapped for biomass including the heavy hitters Honeywell International and Siemens Government Technologies, along with Acciona Energy North America Corporation, ECC Renewables LLC, EDF Renewable Energy, Emerald Infrastructure, Energy Answers International Inc., EIF United States Power Fund IV L.P., Energy Management Inc., Energy Systems Group LLC, MidAmerican/Clark JV, Pacolet Milliken Enterprises Inc., and Stronghold Engineering Inc.

 

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