The Army has signed a nearly $500 million agreement with a Virginia-based company to bring more solar and wind energy to Fort Hood, officials announced Wednesday.

The 28-year agreement with Apex Clean Energy, based in Charlottesville, Va., will save the Army $168 million in electricity costs over the course of the nearly three-decade agreement, Apex said in a news release.

Apex’s hybrid project will feature 50.4 megawatts of wind energy from the Cotton Plains Wind energy facility in Floyd County, near Lubbock, and 15.4 megawatts of energy from solar panels on-site at Fort Hood, according to the news release. The project will begin providing energy to Fort Hood in 2017. The field of solar panels will be installed at West Fort Hood near the Clarke Road Gate not far from Copperas Cove.

“Apex’s groundbreaking hybrid energy project — the Army’s largest single renewable energy project to date — is sized to optimize the solar energy produced by the Phantom Solar facility on-site at Fort Hood and the wind energy produced at the Cotton Plains Wind energy facility in Floyd County, Texas,” according to the news release. “Apex is collaborating with two service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses in the development and construction of the project, Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group (TVIG) and American Helios. TVIG will serve as the Balance of Plant contractor on the wind energy component project, and American Helios constructors will support construction of the solar component of the project.”

The agreement was signed by the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, in coordination with the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives and Fort Hood, with Apex Clean Energy Holdings LLC.

Fort Hood, which already has solar panels on many of its newer buildings, applauded the agreement.

“We are very pleased with the recent award of a large scale renewable energy contract as it will allow Fort Hood to utilize sun and wind resources to generate nearly half of our electricity needs over the course of a year, at a cost lower than we are paying now,” said Col. Todd Fox, Fort Hood’s garrison commander.

He said the three-decade agreement will lock in the low rates for energy generated from the on-post solar field and wind turbines in northwest Texas.

Army officials also said the project adds to Fort Hood’s security by providing an on-post power-generating facility.

“This project demonstrates that renewable energy can both decrease costs and increase the security and resiliency of our installations,” said Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability.

The project brings the Army closer to President Barack Obama’s announcement of the Defense Department’s commitment to clean energy with the promise to deploy three gigawatts of renewable energy — including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal — on Army, Navy and Air Force installations by 2025, according to the Defense Logistics Agency.

A groundbreaking ceremony at Fort Hood for the solar field is scheduled for Jan. 28.

Contact Jacob Brooks jbrooks@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7468

(3) comments

Pete

I may be just a simple guy, but spending $500 million to save $168 million doesn't make a whole lot of economic sense. Our government has no problem making unsound investments with our money, but we have to scrimp and save at every turn.

Who's wife or brother-in-law is in charge of Apex or sits on the board of directors? You know the insiders are going to make out like the bandits that they are

Alvin
Alvin

This is the personal opinion of this writer.
The Army signs a contract for another $500 Million. What's the life of that contract? What is the penalty for 'not completing the contract? If 50.4 megawatts of wind energy from the Cotton Plains Wind energy facility in Floyd County, near Lubbock, what is the life expectancy of that facility being able to supply the expected MW? It is my understanding that the maintenance factor is quite high due to the operations of the wind mill itself, so I dispute the claim of 'Texas wind will always remain zero'. The older it gets, the more maintenance it requires.
As to an individual home owner, what would be the estimated cost for a single dwelling say around here? I would ask you to supply the estimated cost for a home owner and what you estimate the savings to be.
One of the 5 % who voted.

Scot

This is great for Fort Hood and Texas. Just like the City of Georgetown, Fort Hood leaders recognized that solar and wind can produce electricity at less cost per kwh today - right away. No risk of rising fuel costs - the cost of sunshine and Texas wind always remains zero. Congratulations - this will open the door to even more opportunities across the state. Scot Arey COL(R), US Army, Chair Texas Solar Energy Society and owner, Solar CenTex

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