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Companies meet to learn about Redstone Arsenal renewable energy opportunity

U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Col. Robert Ruch welcomes some 40 biomass industry representatives to this morning's pre-proposal meeting for Redstone Arsenal's renewable combined heat and power project. Huntsville Center is managing the acquisition for the Office of Energy Initiatives project.

Col. Robert Ruch welcomes some 40 biomass industry representatives to this morning's pre-proposal meeting for Redstone Arsenal's renewable combined heat and power project. Huntsville Center is managing the acquisition for the Office of Energy Initiatives project.

Biomass companies interested in competing for a renewable combined heat and power project on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, met Nov. 13 to learn more about the opportunity and the acquisition process.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, which is managing the acquisition for the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), hosted the pre-proposal meeting that included overviews of the installation and the request for proposals, as well as a driving tour of the proposed 5-acre site at the northeast corner of the arsenal.

“One of the primary reasons we are all here is to provide energy security to Redstone Arsenal; we are excited about the project,” said Erich Kurre, the OEI project director. “We believe this is going to benefit the greater Huntsville community, as well as the Tennessee Valley as a whole.”

Following several devastating tornadoes in April 2011, Redstone Arsenal Garrison Commander Col. Bill Marks said they learned that although multiple power plants were providing power to the installation, it could all be taken out. Out of power for nine days and relying on generators, Marks said the installation determined it needs 20MW of power to maintain its critical infrastructure and looked to alternative sources of power to prevent such an outage from happening in the future.

The second of two OEI renewable energy generation facility projects on Redstone Arsenal, the combined heat and power facility will provide 25 MW of electricity. The first project, a solar facility expected to be awarded in the second quarter of 2016, will provide up to 18,000 MWh a year.

The selected developer will be responsible to supply a minimum of 160,000 MWh a year of electricity at a steam extraction rate of 520,000 klbs of year. Through a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement, the installation agrees to purchase the on-site generated renewable steam and electricity at a set rate for up to 30 years in accordance with the terms and conditions stipulated in the resulting contract. There is no up-front cost for the Army; the contractor will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the CHP renewable energy generation facility.

“This installation is huge to the defense of our nation … a community where excellence is the standard; we need to be bringing the very best to this project,” Marks said to the potential developers. “This is critical to us for our energy security, and I’m looking forward to breaking ground.”

Proposals are due Jan. 7, 2015; a notice of intent to award is anticipated in summer of 2015. The project will bring the Army closer to its commitment to deploy 1 GW of renewable energy generation by 2025