Army seeking ‘net zero’ energy use at bases

The Army is preparing to collect proposals for a contract vehicle worth up to $7 billion over as many as 30 years meant to help it manage energy resources at Army bases around the country.

The contract vehicle is expected to be one element of a larger Army program known as Net Zero and intended to help the service reach a goal of net zero — or producing as much energy as it uses — when it comes to multiple resources.

A draft solicitation for one of the first contract vehicles went out late last month and will likely be awarded early next year, said Catherine Thomas, a research analyst at Herndon-based Deltek, which analyzes the government contracting market.

That contract vehicle is focused on achieving net zero energy use — meaning a base would produce on site as much energy as it consumes, Thomas said. The awards will likely focus on biomass, wind, solar and geothermal energy, she said.

Thomas said the contract will have multiple awardees, and more than 150 companies that use Deltek’s services have marked it of interest.

At the same time, contractors are also bracing for a related contract vehicle expected to be worth up to $1.5 billion. That program would address sustainable energy, water and waste issues at Fort Bliss, Tex., said Thomas, and a solicitation is expected later this month or next month. Nearly 100 Deltek users have marked it of interest.

Contracts related to water sustainability might address conservation or desalinization, while those related to waste might focus on repurposing waste or new recycling options.

And Thomas said Deltek is expecting additional contract vehicles related to the Army’s net zero efforts. The service has said it will seek to achieve net zero as it relates to water, energy and waste at at least six bases for each, and will look at all three at both Fort Bliss as well as Fort Carson, Colo.

Deltek is “expecting a lot of teaming,” Thomas said, given the high level of contractor interest and the potential size of the programs.

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