The Siemens-led team is one of many teams given the right to bid on contracts to produce these energy installations, but it is the only team to win the right to bid for all 4 categories of solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal.
These rights to bid were awarded through the Multiple Award Task Order Contracts (MATOC) program. 22 companies won the right to bid for solar projects, 17 won the right to bid for wind, 13 the right to bid for biomass, and just 5 the right to bid for geothermal. Other companies to receive these rights include Acciona Energy North America, ECC Renewables, Emerald Infrastructure, and Honeywell International.
These installations are part of a larger initiative by the Defense Department to produce 3 GW of alternative energy on military installations by 2025. They will also help meet a congressional mandate of 25% renewable energy production by 2025.
This push for increased use of alternative energy in the U.S. military was triggered by a number of factors, including the desire to decrease dependence on foreign oil. Outside of political and environmental concerns, conventional fueling faces security issues as well. In Afghanistan, fuel convoys have repeatedly come under attack by insurgents, with convoys facing 1 casualty for every 24 missions. Renewable energy sources can reduce the need for these vulnerable refueling convoys.
According to a Siemens’ spokesman, their contracts will decrease energy costs, enhance infrastructure resilience, and increase energy security through the supply of alternative energy. The spokesman further noted that the U.S. Department of Defense is the largest buyer for energy installations, and has the potential to shift the market towards alternative energy sources.