ReEnergy awarded contract to provide power to Fort Drum

By ReEnergy Holdings LLC | September 30, 2014

The U.S. Defense Logistics Agency has awarded a 20-year contract to ReEnergy Black River. Under the terms of this renewable energy supply agreement, ReEnergy Black River will provide secure, renewable electricity to Fort Drum.

“This is good news not only for ReEnergy, but for Fort Drum and the North Country region. This will enhance energy security and position Fort Drum as a leader in meeting the military’s ambitious renewable energy goals,” said Larry D. Richardson, CEO of ReEnergy Holdings.  “The ReEnergy team is proud to assist the U.S. Army in meeting its renewable energy goals, and looks forward to enhancing the North Country’s green energy economy. “

The Defense Logistics Agency, the entity that awarded the contract, provides the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, other federal agencies, and combined and allied forces with logistics, acquisition and technical services.

ReEnergy Black River submitted a proposal in spring 2013 to the Defense Logistics Agency as part of a competitive procurement process to provide renewable power to Fort Drum, a U.S. Army installation that is home to 37,000 soldiers and family members and employs almost 4,000 civilians.

The federal government is increasing its demand for long-term renewable energy as a result of renewable goals established in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, Executive Order 13423, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. In addition, the Army has established a goal to achieve 1 gigawatt of renewable energy by 2025.

This contract is the largest renewable energy project in the history of the U.S. Army.

The ReEnergy Black River facility, located inside the fence at Fort Drum, has 60 MW of generation capacity. Before it was idled in early 2010 by its former owner, the facility primarily burned coal to produce electricity. ReEnergy acquired the facility in December 2011 and invested more than $34 million to convert the facility to use biomass as its primary fuel, creating new jobs, environmental benefits, and a new renewable energy source for the North Country region. The converted facility commenced operations in May 2013. It employs 33 individuals, and purchases biomass from suppliers that employ approximately 145 individuals to sustainably harvest biomass fuel from local forests. The facility will provide all of Fort Drum’s electricity needs, which currently peaks at about 28 MW.

The facility will begin supplying 100 percent of Fort Drum’s electrical load as of Nov. 1. Under the terms of the agreement, ReEnergy will build an electric transmission line to directly connect the ReEnergy Black River facility to Fort Drum’s two substations.  Prior to the completion of that line, which is anticipated for late summer 2015, ReEnergy will arrange for bilateral deliveries to Fort Drum’s substations through an energy service company.

In 2013, ReEnergy Black River achieved certification to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative standard, which verifies that the facility’s biomass procurement program promotes land stewardship and responsible forestry practices.  ReEnergy is the first company solely devoted to electricity production to be certified to the SFI standard.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority selected ReEnergy Black River to sell renewable energy credits to NYSERDA under New York’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS). The RPS, administered by NYSERDA, is a program that is tasked with obtaining 30 percent of New York’s electricity from renewable sources by 2015.

Through a program funded by the USDA and in collaboration with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, the ReEnergy Black River facility also will use locally grown shrub willow as a fuel.