NAVFAC Southwest Solar Energy Contract Will Generate 40 Megawatts

Story Number: NNS100302-01Release Date: 3/2/2010 7:46:00 AM
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By Lee H. Saunders, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) awarded a $200 million contract on Feb. 24 to construct up to 40 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaic power plants at Navy and Marine Corps installations throughout the southwestern United States.

"This contract will enable the Navy and Marine Corps to take advantage of the tremendous solar resource in the southwestern US," said Nate Butler, NAVFAC Southwest Renewable Program Office team leader. "These projects will generate clean energy for our military bases, lower our electricity bills, and help to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels."

Five solar development teams were awarded indefinite-quantity contracts to provide power to the Department of the Navy through construction of photovoltaic (PV) power plants on military land. The developers will construct, own, operate, and maintain the systems, and sell the power to the Navy and Marine Corps through power purchase agreements (PPA).

"The great thing about a PPA contract is that the government buys power from a solar generation system that is financed, owned, and operated by the developer," said Butler. "The Navy and Marine Corps get green power with no initial capital investment."

In October, the Secretary of the Navy established a goal to produce at least 50 percent of the Navy's shore-based energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020, which far exceeds previous federal renewable energy goals established during the George W. Bush administration. This contract to build solar power plants will increase the Navy's energy security, and benefit the environment through clean energy generation.

"With the Secretary's aggressive goals, it is great to see the Navy, Marine Corps and NAVFAC working in synch to push the boundaries through bold energy initiatives such as this," said Chris Tindal, acting deputy assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy. "We need bold, innovative measures, and this initiative that NAVFAC Southwest has taken on, will move the Department of the Navy's entire energy program closer to the target."

Five companies will compete for individual projects, which will range from one MW to 15 MW. All power produced from the solar plants will be consumed by the base where they are located. The Navy will have up to five years to award projects under this contract, and each project will provide up to 30 years of power delivery.

"The award of this multiple award contract (MAC) is the first step," said Butler. "These contractors will now have the opportunity to compete for future projects at various bases."

The five companies awarded the MAC contract are SunEdison of Beltsville, Md., AECOM Energy/Solar Power Partners Inc. of Mill Valley, Calif., SunPower Corp. of Richmond, Calif., SunDurance Energy LLC of South Plainfield, N.J., and Chevron Energy Solutions Company, a Division of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. of Eagan, Minn.

The first three projects to be awarded under this contract will be in California. These projects are expected to be awarded later this spring, and to be fully operational within a year.

For more news from Naval Facilities Engineering Command, visit

Photovoltaic systems at Naval Base Coronado generate 4,112 kilowatt-hours of electricity per day, or more than 1.5 million kwh per year.
Official U.S. Navy file photo of photovoltaic systems at Naval Base Coronado.
June 16, 2009
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