These wind turbines at Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, were build through an energy savings performance contract. (Navy)
The Defense Department plans to more than triple its annual spending through energy savings performance contracts by the end of fiscal 2013.
DoD plans to award $465 million worth of ESPCs this year and $718 million in 2013, according to documents released at a March 7 hearing. The 2013 figure is more than three times the $201 million awarded in 2011.
The move comes after President Obama in a December memo directed agencies to award a combined $2 billion in ESPCs over the next two years. Under an ESPC, a vendor pays the upfront investment for building renovations and retrofits in exchange for payments from the government's energy savings over time. Agencies can also add in retrofits to save money on other utility bills, including water.
Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and the environment, said at the hearing that the Army awarded $93 million in ESPCs in the first quarter of fiscal 2012 — more than the $74 million it awarded in all of fiscal 2011.
The Army also cut the time it takes to award an ESPC to 12 months — half the time it took previously, she said.
"We are on track to exceed the expectations and the goals that the president set for us," she said.
Examples of ESPCs awarded by DoD in the last three months include:
• A $16 million project with Johnson Controls Inc., to build 5,500 solar panels at Fort Bliss, Texas — a project slated to save $42 million over 25 years.
• A $34 million project with Johnson Controls to install wind turbines and solar panels at Fort Buchanan and 11 Army Reserve Centers in Puerto Rico — to save $65 million over 16 years.
• A $17 million solar panel field at the Army's White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The 4.4 megawatt project will be enough to power 4,400 homes and save $930,000 annually.