The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, has awarded a contract to SunPower to build a solar facility on Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.
The project is expected to annually generate about 18,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of on-site renewable energy.
SunPower Corporation received a notice of intent to award Dec. 4, 2014. Since that time, SunPower Corporation and the Army project team have been working to finalize the technical and legal requirements of the project.
The arsenal has identified approximately 66 acres for the project. The project is expected to be operational by December 2016. The facility will generate enough energy to power about 1,650 homes a year.
The project, developed by Redstone Arsenal’s Directorate of Public Works, the OEI and the Huntsville Center’s Energy Division, is the first Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) Program project solicited through a renewable and alternative energy Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC) awarded by Huntsville Center in 2013.
It will involve a 27-year Renewable Energy Services Agreement and lease with SunPower Corporation.
All electricity from the solar photovoltaic (PV) facility will be purchased at a cost equal to or less than current power costs and consumed entirely by Redstone Arsenal.
The solar PV system will also be designed as micro-grid ready so it may be connected to a future micro-grid and thereby contribute to the overall energy security of the installation.
Huntsville Center commander Col. Robert Ruch said: "While the MATOC can be used to award renewable energy projects on DOD installations, it’s fitting that the first project awarded under the MATOC be in our backyard.
"Our team will be able to watch the progress of the project from start to finish. I’m really proud of the work they’ve done with Redstone Arsenal and OEI to get to this point.
"Every renewable energy project we help implement brings our Army closer to its energy goals and further strengthens our energy security."
Under the PPA, the Army will only purchase the energy that is produced at the on-site solar energy generation facility; no generation assets will be acquired. The selected contractor will finance, design, build, operate, own and maintain the production facilities during the entire period of the contract.