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Army on track to meet contracting goal for energy projects

Jan. 10, 2013 - 11:14AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability, speaks during an Army Times editorial board meeting Jan. 9 at the Pentagon.
Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability, speaks during an Army Times editorial board meeting Jan. 9 at the Pentagon. (Thomas Brown / Staff)

The Army is on track to meet its share of a governmentwide goal to award $2 billion in energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) by the end of the year, according to top Army officials.

Under an ESPC project, the vendor pays the upfront investment for building renovations and retrofits in exchange for payments from the government’s energy savings over time. President Obama directed in December 2011 that agencies enter into $2 billion in energy savings performance contracts before the end of this year.

The Army has awarded $220 million worth of ESPCs under the directive so far and is on track to reach its goal of $384 million by the end of the year, according Richard Kidd, deputy assistant Army secretary for energy and sustainability.

In a Federal Times interview, he said the Army was able to reduce the time it takes to award a contract from more than 20 months to 14 months, and that accelerated pace has allowed the service to make rapid progress toward the goal.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, said the Army has more than tripled its use of ESPCs over the last few years and picks its projects to get the maximum benefit it can while avoiding spending appropriated funds.

“We are not going to the American public and asking for money to do this. We are implementing only things that have a return on investment and that enables the private sector to invest in the base,” Hammack said.

The Army’s largest renewable energy project to date is installation of a four-megawatt solar field on a 42-acre tract at its White Sands Missile Complex in central New Mexico. The $16.8 million project to be completed in December by Siemens Government Technologies Inc. will generate about 10 percent of the installation’s power.

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