Agencies Weigh Pros and Cons of Using Solar, Wind Energy

August 17, 2012

The Army is installing a 4-megawatt solar field on a 42-acre tract at its White Sands Missile Complex in central New Mexico as part of its efforts to generate more renewable energy.

The $16.8 million project to be completed in December will generate about 10 percent of the installation’s power and will cost the Army the same amount it currently pays for its electricity, according to the service.

The project is being funded through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) - in which the vendor pays the upfront costs of facility renovations and retrofits in exchange for payments from the Army’s energy savings over time. The contractor guarantees the energy savings for the life of the contract or it has to pay the balance.

The Army will also purchase energy from contractor Siemens Government Technologies Inc., which will maintain the equipment for 25 years.

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