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The U.S. Army has chosen 17 wind energy companies to pursue the wind power portion of its $7 billion renewable energy program.

Working with the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF), the Army Corps of Engineers' Engineering Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., granted the wind companies Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOCs). The contracts enable the companies to bid on future wind energy developments on or near Department of Defense (DOD) sites as the opportunities are announced.

No money has exchanged hands, and no projects have yet been designated. However, EITF Executive Director John Lushetsky tells NAW the task force is “actively assessing” about 200 MW of wind options. “If these become viable opportunities, specific projects will be released through the MATOC, or other acquisition vehicles,” he says.

The Army is mandated to procure 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025, and in August 2012, it revealed a $7 billion Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production for DOD Installations program. The initiative awards MATOCs to qualified renewable energy contractors, and wind energy is the third of four technologies to be awarded the contracts: the program announced MATOCs for geothermal in May and selected 22 solar technology contractors last month. MATOCs for biomass contractors are slated to be issued by year-end.

According to the Army, the renewable energy contractors that receive awards are pre-qualified to submit proposals under Task Orders for future projects involving their respective technologies. The MATOCs also leverage the DOD authority to contract up to 30 years under power purchase agreements. Overall, the EITF’s Lushetsky says the Army plans to develop 1 GW of renewable resources.

Initially, 45 wind energy companies responded to the Army’s August 2012 request for proposals. Tonju Butler, procurement contracting officer at the Huntsville Center, explains that the qualified wind companies needed to meet several criteria.

For example, the companies were evaluated on their management approach and financial capability. In addition, Butler says the wind companies needed to “describe three 4 MW or larger projects that were relevant and for which the Offeror had responsibility for implementation and then for operation and maintenance for at least three years.”

The following 17 companies are receiving wind energy MATOCs:

- Dominion Energy Inc. (Richmond, Va.)
- First Wind (Boston)
- Acciona Energy North America Corp. (Chicago)
- Cobra Industrial Services Inc. (Houston)
- Duke Energy (Charlotte, N.C.)
- EDF Renewable Energy (San Diego)
- Emerald Infrastructure (San Antonio, Texas)
- Enel Green Power North America (Andover, Mass.)
- EverPower Wind Holdings Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
- Iberdrola Renewables LLC (Portland, Ore.)
- LTC Federal LLC (Detroit, Mich.)
- NorthlandPower Inc. (Toronto, Ontario)
- Siemens Government Technologies Inc. (Arlington, Va.)
- Stronghold Engineering Inc. (Riverside, Calif.)
- Turn Key Power Consortium LLC (Orlando, Fla.)
- VERT Investment Group (Houston)
- West Texas Power Co. (San Angelo, Texas)

Two of the winning companies, Dominion Energy and First Wind, both tell NAW that they look forward to working with the Army. They anticipate a post-award briefing and further guidance soon. Meanwhile, the two companies applaud the Army’s renewable energy plans. 

Jim Eck, vice president of business development at Dominion, says the Army is an important customer and his company will “actively participate with the Army in exploring ways to achieve their goals.”

First Wind spokesperson John Lamontagne adds that the wind industry, as a whole, will likely benefit from the Army’s program.

“The size of the DOD market for energy is significant, and contracting opportunities like the MATOC will demand further innovation and cost-effective solutions from industry,” he says.

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