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SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — In an effort to save money and cut down on the use of fossil fuels, the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Pacific has awarded up to $500 million for the third-party purchase of solar power at military installations across the state of Hawaii, according to a Navy news release.

The contracts – with Island Pacific Energy LLC. of Honolulu, Pacific Energy Solutions LLC. of Honolulu, and Photon Finance LLC. of Mountain View, Calif. – are for the purchase of power only, not construction and maintenance, so there are no upfront costs for the government, said NAVFAC spokesman Don Rochon.

The three companies involved will be eligible for government tax credits, further driving down costs.

“The operations and maintenance aspect alone will save the government money, as we intend to purchase solar-generated electric power only and not to acquire any generation assets,” Rochon said in the release. “With electricity rates on the rise and the ability of the contractor to absorb the full tax incentives, the government will be purchasing this renewable energy at a reduced price, lower than that of the local utility.”

The energy service providers will now determine how much solar power they can produce and will submit proposals on the systems, Rochon said. Interconnection agreements with local utility companies must be in place before task orders can be issued, something NAVFAC hopes to do within the next year.

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