Fort Detrick Garrison Commander Colonel Robert A. O’Brien, along with representatives of the Headquarters of the Department of the Army, Congress, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, the Defense Logistics Agency Energy, and Ameresco, Inc. participated in the event.
The large-scale solar project, now operational, is comprised of 59,994 solar panels installed across 67 acres of land throughout Area B at Fort Detrick. The facility is one of the single-largest in the mid-Atlantic region.
The project is designed to serve about 12 percent of Fort Detrick’s annual electric load requirements. Fort Detrick will consume all electricity supplied by the facility.
“This project is an excellent example of the extraordinary results we can achieve through collaboration,” said Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy, and Environment, in a press release. “Renewable energy produced on Army installations increases energy security, which is essential to mission effectiveness.”
Ameresco designed, built, owns, operates and will maintain the large-scale solar facility and Fort Detrick will purchase the renewable electricity from Ameresco through a 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
Fort Detrick will have the economic benefit of purchasing the renewable electricity below current and projected utility rates. The electricity to be generated by the facility is the equivalent of powering 2,720 homes per year and it will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 19,000 metric tons annually.
“Ameresco is honored to be a renewable energy partner to the U.S. Army and Fort Detrick through this long-term solar energy initiative, and we applaud the Army Office of Energy Initiatives and Defense Logistics Agency Energy for their outstanding leadership in supporting this large-scale renewable energy project,” said Nicole A. Bulgarino, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Federal Solutions, Ameresco. “We are very proud to support the Army’s goal of deploying one gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025 through this partnership at Fort Detrick.”
Fort Detrick is a pilot net-zero installation with a goal of being net-zero energy by 2020. The new Ameresco solar facility is designed to be micro-grid compatible and will support the base in meeting its energy and sustainability goals.
Originally known as Detrick Field, it operated as an emergency airfield on the route between Cleveland and Washington, DC until 1938. During World War ll (WWll), Camp Detrick became the site of exhaustive biological warfare research. After WWll, the post was re-designated as Fort Detrick with a mandate to continue biological research and remain the world’s leading research campus for biological agents that require special containment.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. is an independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability and renewable energy solutions for businesses and organizations throughout North America and Europe. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, Ameresco has more than 1,000 employees providing local expertise in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.