Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, shown recently speaking to sailors aboard the frigate Ingraham, has repeatedly championed the service's use of renewable energy sources. (GMC Walton C. Ciferri / Navy)
The Navy said Thursday it will ramp up its use of public-private partnerships to purchase one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2020.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said in a statement that one gigawatt is enough to power a city the size of Orlando, Fla. — or about 250,000 homes.
The purchase will be one means for the Navy to meet its goal that half of its energy comes from renewable sources by the end of fiscal 2020.
President Obama in his State of the Union address on Tuesday singled out the Navy for "one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history."
The Navy will reach its goal by using a variety of alternative financing techniques, including:
• Energy savings performance contracts, where a company pays the upfront investment for energy-efficiency renovations and retrofits in exchange for payments from energy savings over time.
• Enhanced-use leases, where a company gets to develop government land with renewable energy or other projects in exchange for payment or in-kind services such as reduced-rate energy.
• Power purchase agreements, in which a power company constructs an energy system in exchange for fixed payments over a certain number of years.
Mabus will establish a task force that will select appropriate renewable energy projects, the Navy said.
Tom Hicks, deputy assistant Navy secretary, said at a panel discussion in July that the service expects to have 100 megawatts of solar power, six megawatts of wind power and 270 megawatts of geothermal power by the end of 2012.