What’s Driving The US Military’s Energy Efficiency Makeover? (#CleanTechnica Interview)

Ameresco first crossed the CleanTechnica radar back in 2010, when it engineered one of the first commercial biogas systems in the US. That project involved a civilian wastewater treatment plant in Texas, and it illustrates the common thread running through Ameresco’s approach, which is based on waste-as-an-opportunity.

At the time, the new biogas system was projected to pump $200,000 annually back into the cost of running the treatment plant, while also generating reclaimable biosolids for soil enhancement and water for irrigation.

The military connection caught our eye in 2014, when Ameresco nailed down a solar power contract for Fort Detrick as part of the US Army Corps of Engineers’ $7 billion renewable energy plan.

Like many of the military’s recent renewable energy projects, the Fort Detrick solar farm was made possible through the now-familiar power purchase agreement tool, which enables solar buyers to acquire their solar panels without up-front costs.

As Mr. Sakellaris pointed out, PPA financing is a relatively new thing for the US government. Federal contracting regulations had to be revised to accommodate the longer terms under which PPAs run, typically at 20 to 25 years.

Read the full release (opens in new window)