The world’s largest energy consumer, the U.S. Department of Defense, has the ambitious goal to get 25% of its energy from renewable sources and to reach 3GW of renewable energy capacity by 2025, and solar plays a vital role in this plan.
The Department of Defense has an annual energy budget of $20 billion. In April 2012, the DoD committed to one of the largest clean energy initiatives in history by setting a goal to deploy 3GW of renewable energy, comprising solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal technologies, on Army, Navy, and Air Force installations by 2025. The Army is responsible for 1GW of that total.
The military has more than 130MW of operating solar projects at Navy, Air Force, and Army bases in at least 31 states plus DC. Going solar is the army’s answer to the rising energy costs and security issues associated with fuel supply and an aging transmission network. Solar provides dependable, locally generated, and cost-effective energy, making the army’s energy supply more secure, distributed, affordable, and independent.
According to Enlisting the Sun: Powering the U.S. Military with Solar Energy, a report by SEIA, the shift to solar has allowed the military to decrease its consumption of generator fuel to from 20 gallons a day to 2.5 gallons a day.
Standard Solar, a full-service solar firm, will help to meet DoD’s renewable energy goals. Recently the company has been selected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, working with the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) to develop PV solar on Army installations.
Standard Solar, along with 21 other companies, was awarded Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC), which qualifies them to compete for future solar projects in order to secure reliable, locally generated, renewable energy and microgrid solutions for Army installations through power purchase agreements (PPAs). The four technologies being awarded under the Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production for DoD Installations MATOC represent $7 billion of private sector funding.
Scott Wiater, Standard Solar president and nine-year U.S. Army veteran, said: “This is a very important step forward for the Army and solar, as the goal here is to really showcase the tremendous potential solar has in not just meeting energy and environmental benchmarks, but also to demonstrate its ability to provide energy security.” “Having served in the Army, this is an especially meaningful win for me” Wiater added.