United States: Department Of Defense And Federal Energy Procurement Programs Remain Attractive

Taite R. McDonald is a senior policy advisor and Stephen Robert Bolotin is a public affairs advisor in Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C., office


  • Even though the Trump Administration has proclaimed an "all of the above" energy strategy, many of the Administration's actions have seemed to favor coal and fossil fuels at the expense of clean and innovative energy solutions.
  • However, one market segment in which an integration of the two is clearly favorable is the federal energy procurement market.
  • Although it is still not clear what traction the Trump Administration's budget proposals to cut funding for many federal agencies will get in Congress, the U.S. Department of Defense's energy initiatives and federal energy procurement programs continue to prove the most attractive of all federal energy initiatives.

The Trump Administration promotes an "all of the above" energy strategy, but many of the Administration's actions to date seem to favor coal and fossil fuels at the expense of clean and innovative energy solutions. Although that does not need to always be the case, the complex interplay between market dynamics can make it necessary to favor one over the other in certain scenarios. Nevertheless, one market segment in which an integration of the two is clearly favorable is the federal energy procurement market. This has not been outwardly publicized, but it seems apparent in the Trump Administration's actions and is likely to be demonstrated by the incoming Administration appointees.

In President Donald Trump's Executive Order (E.O.) on energy independence released in March 2017, the Administration kept key U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) energy initiatives intact and asserted: "It is in the national interest to promote clean and safe development of our Nation's vast energy resources" – including electricity that is "affordable, reliable, safe, secure, and clean" and that can be produced from "coal, natural gas, nuclear material, flowering water, and other domestic sources, including renewable sources." While the President's 2018 budget proposal takes aim at a swath of federal agencies, including the Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it also seeks to expand DoD funding. Even though it is still not clear what traction the Trump Administration's budget proposals will get in Congress, DoD and federal energy procurement programs continue to prove the most attractive of all federal energy initiatives.

Accordingly, the DoD's energy program offices continue to solicit proposals for innovative energy solutions that enhance energy resiliency and promote mission assurance. The 2017 funding authorized for defense energy resiliency and infrastructure – along with Defense Secretary James Mattis' strong support for renewable and alternative energy (see Holland & Knight's Government Energy Finance Blog, " Trump Transition and Sustainable Energy: Department of Defense Positioned to Untangle the Tether of Fuel" and " 2017 Defense Energy Funding for Energy Resiliency and Infrastructure") – suggest the DoD is well-positioned to maintain momentum from prior years in fostering innovation in energy. In addition, nominations for key DoD leadership positions – after extended delays – have recently started moving forward, including that of Lucian Niemeyer for Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and Environment, a key policy post that oversees defense energy programs.

Holland & Knight's Government Energy Team continues to monitor the market of federal funding opportunities for innovative energy technologies. We still expect that the federal market will not only survive present-day uncertainties but ultimately continue to grow dynamically due to an increased appetite for more comprehensive energy procurement and energy privatization at government installations. An overview of DoD-related energy policy developments and energy opportunity updates by service and opportunity type follows.

Energy Policy Developments

The Trump Administration's E.O. entitled "Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth" aims to promote energy independence, spur conventional fossil energy resource development and dismantle the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which was created by the Obama Administration. However, what is noteworthy and has gone largely unpublicized is that President Trump's E.O. does not rollback the Obama Administration's E.O. 13693 from 2015 entitled "Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade," which directed federal agencies to reduce GHG emission by 40 percent by 2025 among other climate-related performance targets. As we noted in early December (see Holland & Knight's Government Energy Finance Blog, " Trump Transition and Sustainable Energy: Department of Defense Programs Provide Strong Foundation for Energy Independence"), were the Trump Administration to roll back E.O. 13693, a patchwork of Bush-era and Obama-era statutes from 2005, 2007 and 2010 would remain intact, including a 7.5 percent GHG emissions reduction target for federal agencies by 2013 and a 25 percent target for the DoD by 2025. As such, President Trump's E.O. does not derail the pipeline of upcoming DoD energy opportunities. (For an in-depth review of President Trump's E.O., see Holland & Knight's alert, " A Closer Look at President Trump's Executive Order on Energy Independence.")

Although his E.O. did not mention the Paris Climate Accord of 2015, President Trump formally announced on June 1, 2017, that the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement. Despite opposition within the Administration and externally from many in the business community, including a number of Fortune 500 companies, the President ultimately stuck to his conviction that the agreement was bad for America and fulfilled one of his top campaign promises. Given the implicit link between climate and renewable energy, this development appears at least on the surface to be a step in the wrong direction for innovative energy technologies. Nevertheless, the decision to withdraw has already caused some governors, mayors and congressional representatives on both sides of the aisle to pledge that their states and communities would continue to fulfill many of the Paris agreement's goals. As such, this decision might take the wind out of Congress' already-limited appetite to cut funding for energy programs within the federal government.

DoD Energy Program Offices

As the federal government's largest consumer of energy, the DoD has led efforts to deploy innovative energy technologies that can enhance its strategic capabilities and provide mission assurance through the Navy's Resilient Energy Program Office (REPO), the Army's Office of Energy Initiatives (OEI), and the Air Force's Office of Energy Assurance (OEA). An update on the program offices follows.

Navy: On Dec. 31, 2016, the Navy renamed its "Renewable" Energy Program Office to the "Resilient" Energy Program Office and moved it from the Office of Energy, Installations, and Environment (EIE) to merge it with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Headquarters Energy Office. The new REPO executes energy resilience, alternative energy and renewable energy projects. Since President Trump's inauguration, REPO has released four Enhanced Use Lease (EUL)1 solicitations for developing energy resiliency systems on installations in Southern California, including:

  • Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Pendleton – 123.5 acres
  • Naval Base (NB) San Diego – 5.08 acres
  • Naval Base (NB) Coronado – 5.12 acres
  • Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Seal Beach, Detachment Norco – 18.8 acres

In addition to the opportunities set forth above, REPO is evaluating a new pipeline of energy-related opportunities that will incorporate energy storage and microgrid systems. Moreover, REPO program officials remain open to having creative project concepts brought directly to them, with the understanding that all projects are awarded in fully competitive, open solicitations.

Army: In January, the Army OEI held an Army Energy Security Projects Industry Day, where the service highlighted its ongoing efforts to develop energy resiliency projects on its installations. Recently, OEI followed up on this effort with a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback from industry, specifically around energy storage combined with smart control systems to provide "islanding" capabilities at military installations. The RFI sought input on specific ways to leverage third-party financing to develop such systems. Both the Industry Day and RFI highlight that the Army is ramping up efforts to deploy energy resiliency technologies at its most critical facilities through various contracting vehicles beyond just the Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and EULs traditionally deployed through this office.

Relatedly, OEI has continued to update its project pipeline, as reflected in its recently updated Projects & Opportunities Map. Specifically, two installations have received greater project definition:

  • Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois is being targeted for 8.5 megawatts (MW) of hydropower with access to storage and a microgrid to provide contingency generation.
  • Fort Benning in Georgia is being targeted for 13 MW of solar power generation in addition to storage and a microgrid to provide contingency generation. This will specifically be the second project at Fort Benning, aiming to provide energy resiliency not procured in the first 30 MW solar project, which sold the power offsite.

Both of the above projects must still receive internal clearance prior to a solicitation being released. However, two other projects have recently received internal clearance and solicitations could be issued shortly:

  • Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) Los Alamitos in California will seek 16 MW of solar power generation in addition to storage and a microgrid to provide contingency generation.
  • Fort Sill in Oklahoma will seek 20 MW of solar and 50 MW of natural gas power generation in addition to a microgrid to provide contingency generation.

With near-term procurement opportunities ready for release and others to follow, the Army OEI is showing every indication of gaining momentum in 2017. Furthermore, the office has indicated that it will consider resiliency solutions that do not necessary include renewable energy assets such as combined heat and power (CHP) systems but that deliver on energy security.

Air Force: The Air Force OEA just got off the ground in 2016. As such, they have collocated their offices with the Army OEI to leverage the Army's best practices in moving projects forward, including joining as a party to the Army's RFI referenced above.

Moreover, the Air Force is also moving forward on a separate but parallel effort to procure "energy as a service," or in other words, comprehensively address energy supply, conservation and resiliency via a long-term arrangement with a single entity. To this end, the Air Force is expected to release an RFI in the near-term that aims to present existing contracting authorities and barriers to solicit industry feedback on a holistic approach to installation energy. Two installations have been identified for this pilot effort, including Hanscom Air Force Base (AFB) in Massachusetts and Altus AFB in Oklahoma. These installations were strategically chosen to address both the regulated and unregulated markets. Furthermore, the Air Force seeks to identify any gaps in existing authorities that might stymie this effort and pursue congressional authorization to combine and/or expand contracting authorities accordingly.

Energy Privatization Opportunities

In addition to the energy opportunities set forth above, the Trump Administration will present an increased array of opportunities associated with energy privatization that includes a broader set of capabilities and offerings. This aligns with the Air Force's efforts referenced above, which seek to more comprehensively address energy supply, conservation and resiliency in an affordable manner by incorporating renewable energy, demand energy response and frequency regulation solutions.

In recent weeks, two new utility privatization opportunities have emerged:

  • Privatization of utility systems at Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, which includes electric, water and wastewater. There was a related source sought notice, which was due in mid-June 2017. The official solicitation opportunity is expected in the August 2017 timeframe. For more information, see the FedBizOpps synopsis.
  • Privatization of utility systems at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico, which includes electric, water, and wastewater. A pre-proposal conference was held in late June. Proposal packages are due at 3 p.m. ET on Aug. 28, 2017. For more information, see the FedBizOpps synopsis.

In addition to these opportunities, Army officials have stated that they plan to issue a total of eight new utility privatization opportunities this year, 10 new opportunities in 2018 and 12 new opportunities in 2019. Accordingly, renewable energy, microgrid, battery storage and energy management providers should be looking at utility privatization in the federal market during the coming years.

General Services Administration

Although the General Services Administration (GSA) has yet to make any public statements about its posture with regard to energy procurement under the Trump Administration, E.O. 13693 also applies to the federal agencies that procure power through GSA. Although the Trump Administration will not be prioritizing renewable energy projects, it is open to project ideas that save federal facilities money. Considering that GSA has recently completed one of its pilot projects that aggregated solar procurement across facilities and that this aggregated approach is less expensive than conventional energy solutions in many markets, there are likely to be solar energy opportunities that align with the Trump Administration's objectives in the coming months and years. Furthermore, Utility Energy Savings Contracts (UESCs) – which are executed under GSA Areawide Contracts and can incorporate cost-competitive renewable energy, demand response and energy management solutions in a cost-competitive manner – represent another opportunity for companies.


Federal procurement opportunities for clean and innovative energy solutions will look vastly different in the coming months and years due to the Trump Administration's desire to provide energy security and energy resiliency in a more comprehensive manner.While some opportunities will be publicly solicited, many will require outreach to and partnering with leading government contractors, energy efficiency providers and utilities.


1 In an EUL contract, the selected developer can provide an in-kind consideration (IKC) that enhances the energy security posture of the installation (such as a microgrid, storage or backup generation) in lieu of cash payments for land. The developer can construction renewable energy generation systems on the land, which can be power marketed into the utility grid for profit. In general, these agreements specify that the military gets "first dibs" on power generated at these systems in the event of a utility grid failure.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of www.mondaq.com

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.