Solar Energy Deal Tops $32 Billion in August Awards

Solar Energy Deal Tops $32 Billion in August Awards

A group of companies, including a unit of Virginia-based Dominion Resources Inc., won the U.S. Defense Department’s biggest contract last month, a solar energy deal under a $7 billion alternative-energy program.

The Aug. 27 award from the Army was the second of its kind, following a similar agreement for geothermal power in May. (The service this week announced a third such deal for solar power and a fourth for biomass is expected by the end of the year.) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Huntsville, Ala., is overseeing the work.

The program represents “a major step forward in the procurement of renewable energy for the Army and the other services,” John Lushetsky, executive director of the Energy Initiatives Task Force, said in a statement.

The award topped a list of almost 330 contracts with a combined value of slightly less than $32 billion in August, according to a Military​.com analysis of the Pentagon’s daily contract announcements. That figure is 1 percent higher than the average value for the past three months and doesn’t reflect what is actually spent, or obligated, because many deals are only partially funded at first.

The Army selected 22 companies from a total of 114 bids as part of a contract to buy electricity generated from solar power.

The firms included several from the greater Washington, D.C., region, including Apex Wind Energy Holdings LLC of Charlottesville, Va.; Dominion Energy Inc. part of Richmond, Va.-based Dominion Resources Inc; Energy Matters LLC of Arlington, Va.; Solar Power Ventures, also of Arlington, Va.; Standard Solar Inc. of Rockville, Md.; and Washington Gas Energy Systems Inc., part of Washington, D.C.-based WGL Holdings Inc.

The Army plans to buy the renewable energy from privately developed power plants, according to the Aug. 27 announcement. The facilities are to be built, operated and maintained by the companies.

The existing umbrella contract includes a three-year base period and seven one-year options, the Army has said. The funding can be spent over an even longer period — as many as 30 years, it said.

The Pentagon’s top three contracts in August were so-called multiple-award contracts. Under these kinds of arrangements, companies win seats on the contract, then compete against each other for individual orders.

Eight companies shared the second-largest contract, an Air Force agreement worth as much as $6.9 billion over six years for information-technology equipment such as computers, networking gear and biometric hardware as part of the Network Centric Solutions-2, or Netcents-2, program, according to the Aug. 26 announcement.

Another group of eight companies, including units of defense giants such as London-based BAE Systems Plc and Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp., won the third-largest contract, an agreement with the Defense Microelecetronics Activity potentially valued at $1.34 billion over three years to provide computer-engineering services as part of the Advanced Technology Support Program III, or ATSP-3, program, according to the Aug. 26 announcement.

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By all means, gut the readiness and training accounts so our troops are less ready to fight, and furlough civilians, but don’t touch funds earmarked for solar energy. We certainly wouldn’t want private industry to feel the pinch of sequestration. They might squawk too much to the media.

Nuclear power is clean, affordable, and available, yet we waste our time and money on this solar crap. Hell, where do they think fissionable material was made if not in the hearts of the suns that built the Earth and our solar system?

Great. I am wondering how this helps the Army fight our enemies, though. It seems like zero bang for 32 billion bucks. Maybe we are trying to convince our enemies to give up, as in: “If they have that kind of money to waste on political correctness, what chance do we have?”

Ever hear of Fukashima japan, lets start building more nuclear power plants and while were at it lets start fracking the entire country for oil and natural gas. We can just keeping burying the waste for the next few thousand years and not worry about it

Fukashima was old technology, the new reactors are 1000% safer, but its easer to blame nuc rather than blame the design engineers who were unaware that Japan is a major earthquake waiting to happen, OH! yes it did happen

Building a nuclear power plant within walking distance of the ocean in a major earthquake zone was probably not the best idea. That’s the planner’s fault, not the technology’s.

DoD is the largest user of energy in the world and it their biggest expense. Frontline delivery of fuel is incredibly expensive and dangerous. This will help the military eliminate this. Less vulnerable and save money it is a good deal to invest in.

“SOLAR CRAP”! You must be a Fox news loving republican. Google “GERMANY SOLAR ENERGY”

Depends on where you are guys in the east coast or in the mid west Nuclear power would be just fine. And in the NW and east bad weather makes your environmental safe solar useless since the sun is covered most of the year. Hydro for the west and nuclear in the east may be better.

Way to recycle the environmentalist talking points, but this has nothing to do with frontline delivery of fuel.

Oh Fukashima was such a huge disaster. All those poor people dead… What, no one died? Not a single person? You mean the whole “disaster” was just a fabrication of the US news media? Ha ha ha, I guess the joke is on us — yet one more time.

How many people died in coal mining accidents last year? More than in all of the free world’s “nuclear disasters” combined again, no doubt. Just like every other year. But run hide little sheep because because nuclear is so scary.

You have absolutely no grasp on the latitudinal placement of the CONUS do you?
Germany, which lays further north than the CONUS, has produced 20% of their daily electrical needs via solar power generation.
The furthest northern point of the north eastern continental United States is in Maine, at 47° 28′ N.
The furthest north in the entire continental United States is in Washington state at 49° N.
To put this in perspective, Munich is at 48° 8′ N.

Nuclear everywhere is what is best. The environmental impact of dams is huge. All nuclear plants need is a little water for cooling. Any true environmentalist is for nuclear power, not against it.

Way to discount facts with pithy ignorance.

Ever hear of Alaska? Obviously not. Solar panels barely produce more energy than it takes to produce them, which is better than most wind generators which don’t even come close to paying back the power it took to build them. There are only 3 serious energy sources in the world 1) Nuclear fission 2) coal/oil and 3) water. Of those 3 the cleanest is clearly nuclear fission. Too bad the kooks and their buddies the muti-national coal/oil corporations have scared this country away from using it.

Pithy perhaps but ignorant not so much. My discounting of midwestener’s purported ‘facts’ stands as originally stated: The article has nothing to do with frontline delivery of fuel, and if you’ve got some environmentalist axe to grind, fine, just try doing it elsewhere, this is defense blog.

NSA could use some energy contracts, they have some data centers that need the juice for eavesdropping.

Dfens: nuclear power is deadly.….nucpwr is the most heavily subsidized energy sources.….nucpwr has the highest “life-cycle” cost of any major energy sector.…..nucpwr leaves a 10K year legacy of waste control.…just my $.02 as far as hearts of suns read up a bit on fusion vs fission

midw: want to save 35% on the military fuel budget 2morrow???? stop the DOD mandate of use of “biofuels” which on the average cost 1.35% more than “normal” fossil fuels. The use of bio-fuels is a back-door subsidy of the bio-fuel industry by the military mandated by the POTUS Obama administration…, its more expensive & if not mistakin’ has a lower BTU combustion out-put.….. Science! doesn’t lie politicans do!

good point, loss of off site power is the most dangerous iteration 2 be in, u have to rely on your diesel genny’s, they were under water, therefore there was no way to remove the “decay heat” of the reactor, let along do a controlled shut down/cool down.…. its always the asymetrical option thats over-looked.….the rsult, total loss of primary coolant, next fuel failure & core damage.… its happened b 4, no news here, SL-1, TMI, a couple of soviet nuke boats.… no fuka.…

gee sounds like ur describing San Ofeiro comm. nuc plant in s. cali.

KrazyCOL, I know you mean well but your spelling is giving me a headache.

And once compared to hydroelectric power, the difference is obvious.

the man working in the mine made the decision to work in the mine, the poor bastard thats drinks water polluted several hundred years from now from buried nuke waste had no part in that decision. maybe we will come up with a way to clean up the mess. it’s only been 30 years since 3 mile Island, 20 or so years since Chernobyl, and now Fukushima. oops almost forgot the bikini Islands in the south pacific. not even to mention the polluted sites in oak ridge & it’s sister site in washington state. Man will be long gone trashing some other place before we get around cleaning up these sites. Oh wait we can build an 100 ft ice wall around around the sites and keep it frozen. lololol

Lots a folks here dissing solar while know little about it. It is the future of energy, really. Disruptive solar technologies are beginning to emerge that will take it to the top of the list for generating electricity. Google “spray on solar,” absolute black solar,” and “solar crossover.” Solar Crossover is when electricity from solar becomes cheaper than electricity from fossil fuels. We are almost to that point (within 3–5 years). Why are Walmart, Costco, FEDEX, IKEA, and other corporations putting solar panels all over their real estate? They are not doing it to be “green” for the environment. They are doing it because of the green stuff called “money.” Walmart want to self generate 35% of the electricity it uses on stores so equipped, and save on its energy costs. Houses of the future will have Dow PowerHouse solar shingles on them. Dow started selling these in 2011.

OK Midwest, please tell me how acres of static arrays of overpriced solar panels helps an army defeat an enemy, especially one that maneuvers. Also explain how an array like that is not a mortar magnet. A regional headquarters will need an army to protect the solar power station from destruction. This is nothing more than an attempt at using the military for social engineering. Don’t forget it is also financial featherbedding, rewarding loyal political supporters with money from the DOD side of the budget.

If Solar & BioMass were capable of standing on their own two feet (a.k.a. commercially viable), the federal government wouldn’t have to earmark funds to do it. Much more expensive than traditional energy sources and a complete waste of money…only bigger waste would be sending it to the rebels in syria…

There are only 3 posts on this article that explicitly state “solar sucks.” The majority are just arguing that nuclear is better or defending against people stating “nuclear sucks.”

Would I be the lone guy calling for geothermal? Anywhere two seismic plates collide is a good place to use ‘em.

Obama’s puppet (Dempsey), must have had something to do with this!

When ‘Solar Crossover’ is reached, I promise I’ll be the first one beating the solar drum.

The ideal location for any solar power should be bases in Arizona, California and New Mexico. Any other locations may be a waste of money

CA and TX, which conveniently are major states with large military and civilian populations. Works out for ‘murrica.

If I remember correctly the UN estimates that global warming will probably kill as many as 5.000.000 people each year over 25 years plus others before and after. Most of these will be in the 3rd world and thus be people that had no part in that “decision” either.

For comparison and if those numbers are correct that is a couple of 100 of chernobyl sized accidents for nuclear power to be equally unsafe to coal/oil/gas with a little ineffective dabbling in renewal energy.

By killing I mean indirectly… Ie. more precipitation leads to more lakes and puddles which leads to more mosquitoes which leads to more malaria. Stuff like that.

I kinda sorta agree … but if your geothermal drilling sets off earthquakes.… Not a good thing.

I’d say it requires more large scale testing. it DoD uses energy..but this will in no way make it easier to get fuel tonthe front line or reduce the full burden cost of fuel…there is plenty of other government agencies that also contribute to the energy consumption…but none are putting upnany ofntheir budget to subsedize solar science projects…

Of course the contracting office who manages and awards these contracts, know that a predominate elected official from CA has a husband who is in the solar business. Think that makes any difference on contracts awards?

What a project.
So I understand now why there were no more money for extra 60 or so F-22s. And M-4 rifle replacement. And no money to run already purchased C-27s. And replacement of USAF UH-1s. And repair of SSN Miami — or maybe one extra Virginia to replace it. But maybe — they are building huge LASER base on the Moon, and need to charge it to blast Syria, Vatican and who knows what else.

Nuclear Power is not only unsafe it’s not that affordable. Solar Power and Geothermal are very practical and guess what, there is no end in sight of free fuel and no corrupt conglomerate forcing us a price.

Here’s a fact about solar power, 4800 square miles (4/5 the size of Connecticut) of solar panels can take care of ALL of this country’s electrical needs. Place them out in the West and these solar panel cities would not even register as blimp. Ever been out in that part of the country, miles and miles of nothing.

Geothermal is convenient in that wherever there is a regular fossil fuel plant it can be converted into a geothermal plant with again no need for any fuel to buy! Some areas in the country near thermal vents would be dirt cheap to erect.

One more thing if we get off oil, the Middle East and all of their backward culture slips into obscurity like all the rest of the poor countries around the world.

Must not forget about the “green jet fuel” the navy uses at about $58 dollars a gallon! Thaks Thanks Secretary Hagel and Chairman of the joint chiefs! Keep listening to obama!

You could drop lifecycle costs if you brought spent reactor cores to a deep sea trench and dropped them in.

Godzilla is coming.

It’s about scale. Just as one car isn’t a big polluter, but 100 million are. A few scattered solar plants themselves won’t answer our energy needs, but if solar panels find their way onto urban rooftops it should lower the power load on existing infrastructure considerably. God knows how much dinosaur we burn just to keep aircon running in sunny Texas, Florida and California.

In the long run, we will need even /more/ power in the southwest to run desal, since the population growth will outpace our ability to steal water from Colorado. San Onofre was originally meant to co-exist with a desal plant, and provide waste heat for that process. We will probably need to think of energy-cheap ways to desal water /before/ we need to. Shall we look to Israel, which gets 50+% of its water from desal?

How many centuries will it take for this expenditure to pay fro itself!?!?!?

Despite the faulty headline it is $7 billion on solar

How will PC solar energy eliminate the “Frontline delivery of fuel [which] is incredibly expensive and dangerous”? Wouldn’t be nice if our Government would spend tax payer money with the same deference it demands from us when it collects it.

Nuclear Power is not only unsafe it’s not that affordable. Solar Power and Geothermal are very practical and guess what, there is no end in sight of free fuel and no corrupt conglomerate forcing us a price.

Here’s a fact about solar power, 4800 square miles (4/5 the size of Connecticut) of solar panels can take care of ALL of this country’s electrical needs. Place them out in the West and these solar panel cities would not even register as blimp. Ever been out in that part of the country, miles and miles of nothing.

Geothermal is convenient in that wherever there is a regular fossil fuel plant it can be converted into a geothermal plant with again no need for any fuel to buy! Some areas in the country near thermal vents would be dirt cheap to erect.

One more thing if we get off oil, the Middle East and all of their backward culture slips into obscurity like all the rest of the poor countries around the world.

One could argue that a larger solar industry, spurred on by fundamental research, actual deployment, and engineering of an internet of power grids (an intergrid) by DoD, will provide more work for boots on the ground of returning vets.

Clean, not if you are Japan or Russia and the rest of the world that will be eating glowing fish.

225,000 half life and glowing fish don’t give a darn if it is old or new technology.

Building nuclear power inland isn’t much better if you lived in Russia.

I wonder how much we are paying for Ronald Reagan removing the “solar crap” from the white house at tax payer expense because that retard didn’t believe in global warming? Now that global warming is recognized, we find a large number of Reagan lovers claiming RMDD (Republican Mental Deficit Disorder). Kind of like the “Love it or Leave it” bumper stickers these same Republicans kept on their cars until Viet Nam was finally recognized as a bad deal.

This should have been under that comment that called Nuclear energy clean with new technology. I hope we get new technology pretty soon that will allow Chernobyl ands Japan to become inhabitable again before the Second Coming.

Geothermal is nuclear fission power too. The Earth’s core would have been cold and dead 3 billion years ago if it wasn’t being continually heated by nuclear fission in the core. We keep being told that nuclear fission is going to kill us. It’s going to give us all the big C. It’s going to cause Godzilla to wake up from the floor of the ocean. All that really happens is we continue to ignore the best and cleanest power source we ever had or will have, and why, so some damn oil sheiks can fund another “Arab Spring” and kill a bunch more Christians. F them all. I’d drive a damn nuclear powered car if I could buy one.

We’d spend more in power making the solar panels than we’d get in power from those damn things, and can you imagine the environmental impact of shadowing that much desert? I’ll bet we’d kill a lot more than a handful of spotted owls. Of course, if the kooks are for it, it doesn’t matter what kind of environmental devastation it causes. It’s like those windmills killing birds. No one gives a damn how many birds those things kill as long as the windmills are popular with the kooks. Let one damn spotted owl die so some American union laborers can keep their jobs and there’s hell to pay. It’s all politics, there’s no sense to it at all.

We could cut the waste and cost even more if we’d use breeder reactors. They make almost no waste at all.

Yeah, if you keep saying “nuclear power is deadly” maybe eventually someone will die from it. As for fusion, it will be the biggest generator of nuclear waste ever if it, like all the other pie in the sky promises we get from the energy kooks, ever becomes a feasible power source. All those neutrons have got to go somewhere, and they will inevitably get soaked up by all kinds of materials all around the reaction. And all those materials will become unstable and radioactive. And they will all need to be disposed of somewhere…

Here’s the real irony about nuclear fission. Nuclear fission is what keeps the Earth’s mantle hot enough to be molten, and it is the circulation of the molten mantle that creates the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetic field does more than steer our compass needle to point North, it also protects us from the nasty radiation streaming out of the Sun due to all that “clean” nuclear fusion going on there. So nuclear fission has been protecting life on this planet from frying due to the radiation from nuclear fusion for billions of years, but ask anyone on this planet and nuclear fission is “bad” and nuclear fusion is “good”. Freaking unbelievable!

Look up “Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactor.” It’s a very interesting technology that actually consumes our current spent fuel and has 0% chance of meltdown. Requires no “backup generators” and is extremely safe. More thorium lying around than uranium anyways.

Yeah, I’ve seen that. It makes me wonder what other fissionable materials or combinations of materials could be used to make us energy independent. Hell, we should be flying in nuclear powered aircraft now. Our current aircraft put their emissions directly into the most sensitive part of the atmosphere, but as long as they get Al Gore to his next eco-revival it’s all good.

True, but people want the heat with a huge buffer between them and the radionuclides.

“It’s not your nuclide products, I just want your heat…”

Geothermal is not without its own issues. It’s not like you stick a pipe in the ground and get free energy forever. The ground around volcanic areas is notoriously unstable and there are all kinds of chemical and heat processes that want to destroy whatever goes into the ground. Of course, it sucks if the area goes Mt. St. Helens on you.

Leave it to the Army to figure out how to give away $7 billion in money the government and taxpayers don’t have when we are cutting brigades and aircraft carriers and furloughing DOD employees and leaving Afghanistan in the lurch. Most of the money already spent by the military on “renewable” energy and energy efficiency does not even come close to passing a business case test of short-term or long-term payback, nor has it delivered any tangible improvement in energy security — for example, not one of the military’s solar farms can provide power when the local grid goes down because they don’t have the transfer switches to isolate them.

The DoD IG has weighed in on the fraud, waste and abuse in this alternative energy spending spree with several reports such as this (The Department of the Navy Spent Recovery Act Funds on Photovoltaic Projects That Were Not Cost-Effective. Department of Defense Inspector General, September 22, 2011. http://​www​.recovery​.gov/​A​c​c​o​u​n​t​a​b​i​l​i​t​y​/​i​n​s​p​e​c​t​ors… and even the the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Government Oversight has documented the raft of malfeasance and corruption and political cronyism driving the whole program (http://​oversight​.house​.gov/​w​p​-​c​o​n​t​e​n​t​/​u​p​l​o​a​d​s​/​2​0​1​2​/​0​3​/​f​i​n​a​l​-​d​o​e​-​l​o​a​n​-​g​u​a​r​a​n​t​e​e​s​-​r​e​p​o​r​t​.​pdf).

I hope the long-overdue increased scrutiny will instill some caution and common sense into the military contracting officers and civil engineers and public works officers who have to approve these projects for their installations. Knowingly wasting taxpayer money at this scale should be a felony and we need to hold people accountable.

u tryin 2 say im ignat?

i ony spwelt 2 wourds wrungg!!

hey grant while ur at it google “German” coal fired plants under construction.… in 7 yrs it will supply 17% of their elec.…

dfens…hah! no waste at ALL from a breeder Rx????? do some research buddy…

yup mike! there was so much of it “lyin’ around” the feds had to create UMTRAP Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation Action Program.…b cuz 100’s of sq miles of land were crapped up by radioactive thorium left over from uranium mill tail mining.….… do some readin’ up!

Mike: the USN tried this with “The 1st Seawolf” submarine, they used Na as a “moderator”.… this type of Rx design & moderators has huge challenges becuz of the operating temps! & high chemical reactivity (non-nuclear) of the “salt moderators”

Good post Cliff: all these solar projects for the military are just back door subsidies 4 politically connected manufacturers a la solindra… I’m not sayin’ solar doesn’t have its place, I believe in a all of the above ploicy w/respect to energy…, but the amt of $$$$ the DOD is throwin’ at “green & renewables” is a scam…plain & simple…in 5 years 80% of these projects will be listed in some GAO or IG report on FW&A


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