Fort Hood in Texas will soon get a whopping 40 percent of its electric needs from wind and solar sources. That’s thanks to a recently signed power-purchase agreement for 65.8 megawatts of energy. It’s a number of firsts for the Army. It’s the first solar-wind hybrid project and the first project for the Army combining on and off-site energy projects. Ultiamately it will source 100 percent of its energy needs from renewable sources, all the while saving the base $168 million in energy costs over the next 28 years.
"This is the largest military renewable energy project to date, and we are proud to be providing our men and women in uniform and their families with their electricity needs," said Jeff Starcher, chairman and CEO of MP2 Energy. "Even more, we're thrilled at the financial impact this agreement has had, as this cost savings will allow military budgets to go further.”
The new system will include the 15.4 megawatt (AC) Phantom Solar power facility on-site at Fort Hood, which will begin providing energy to Fort Hood in 2017. Off-site Fort Hood will powered by the 50.4 megawatt Cotton Plains Wind energy facility in Floyd County, Texas. Together the systems will provide 40 percent of the base’s electricity. The rest is being supplied by MP2.
"We partnered with MP2 due to their unique ability to manage renewable energy assets for Apex and manage the risk around integrating it directly with Fort Hood's retail electricity supply," said Mark Goodwin, president and COO of Apex. In addition to Fort Hood, MP2 Energy serves two Texas military bases and has an agreement with a Department of Defense contractor to supply energy and net-metering for rooftop solar systems at military installations.
The partnership will allow for better pricing efficiency and better risk management, because MP2, along with Apex, will handle both wholesale and retail sides of the agreement. "Finding efficiencies to reduce the cost of energy and make a positive environmental impact is key to our company mission," said Starcher. "We are thrilled to be doing this for Fort Hood and the US Army.”
The Army is the largest consumer of energy in the US, costing the federal government $1.3 billion in 2015. In fact, the Department of Defense spends 35 percent of its budget to power its facilities.
The Army has been investing in solar for some time now and is busy going solar in other parts of the country. For instance, Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army power in Alabama began installation of a 10 MW array this summer. Likewise, other branches of the US military are drawn to the energy security provided by renewable energy, too. For instance, the Marine Corps partnered with Georgia Power to build an array for their Logistics Base in Albany.Tweet