Developer Apex Clean Energy is celebrating the final delivery of what it calls the U.S. Army’s largest renewable energy project, a hybrid wind and solar facility at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas.
Drawing wind from the 50.4 MW Cotton Plains Wind facility in Floyd County, Texas, and solar power from the on-base 15.4 MW Phantom Solar facility, the project will provide approximately half of the overall energy demands of Fort Hood, as well as save U.S. taxpayers $168 million over the 28-year life of the project, according to Apex.
The developer notes that Fort Hood is the largest active-duty armored post in the U.S. military; it has an annual economic impact to the Texas economy of over $35 billion. In addition, it directly employs over 60,000 people and indirectly impacts over 140,000 jobs, says Apex.
The deal structure for the project includes the creation of a new retail electric provider: ACE Power, a subsidiary of Apex, will deliver 100% of the energy required by Fort Hood through three substations. The design includes microgrid-ready capabilities.
On Friday, Apex’s president and CEO, Mark Goodwin, joined senior military officers and civilians in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the project. Attendees included representatives of the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives and the Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works.
“Clean and reliable renewable energy can help make our military bases stronger, more robust and more adaptable to the threats of a changing world,” said Goodwin. “The vision shown here will be increasingly recognized as other bases and branches of our military seek to replicate the economic performance and energy security provided this project.”
The Honorable Richard G Kidd IV, deputy secretary of the Army (strategic integration), spoke about the mission compatibility of the project: “This project will help sustain Fort Hood’s vital missions, assure access to an important resource supply, and bolster an already impressive portfolio of alternative and renewable energy projects in the Army.
“But most importantly, this project is a step towards energy security and resiliency, which underwrite the Army’s unique ability to rapidly deploy, employ and sustain military forces around the globe,” Kidd said.
Photo: The 15.4 MW Phantom Solar facility