Ft. Carson to Host the Army's Largest Solar Project
The project will generate 3,200 megawatt-hours (MWh) of solar power annually, reflecting the U.S. Army's strong commitment to clean, renewable energy. "Using Colorado's abundant sunshine and available federal land to continue charting a new course for our energy future made sense," said Ft. Carson Utilities Manager Vince Guthrie, who was instrumental in bringing solar power to Fort Carson.
This project also represents one of the first major customer-sited projects to emerge from Colorado's voter-led initiative to make the state a leading user of renewable energy. Governor Bill Ritter, who took office in January 2007, recently led a successful campaign to double the amount of renewable energy in the state's renewable portfolio standard. By 2020, Colorado will get 20 percent of its power from renewable energy, including solar, wind, biomass and geothermal resources.
"The 2 MW solar project at Fort Carson represents the collaboration of seven major players, each of whom has played a decisive role in making this project a tremendous success," said Erik Rothenberg, Managing Director at 3 Phases Energy. A California based developer of renewable energy projects, 3 Phases worked with Fort Carson to assemble the various pieces and partners to make this an economically viable project for the Army.
Two utilities and a federal power marketing agency cooperated in making the project possible. Xcel Energy will purchase the renewable energy credits (RECs) for 20 years under its Solar*Rewards program, which provides incentives for residential and commercial solar installations. The RECs will support Colorado's renewable portfolio standard. Colorado Springs Utilities which provides services to Fort Carson will host the system on its grid. Under its power marketing authority, Western Area Power Administration's Rocky Mountain Region will procure the power from the system on behalf of Fort Carson.
"Western is proud to support a federal customer in securing clean, reliable power at a fixed rate," said Randy Manion, Manager of Western's Renewable Resources for Federal Agencies Program. "We hope to use this model for other customers who are expressing interest in similar types of projects. It is a great way to expand the use of renewable energy while meeting the needs of many different parties."
3 Phases Energy brought the best of the solar industry to build and finance this project. SunTechnics Inc., the largest global installer of solar systems, will design and construct the project which is expected to be completed in December? 2007. Florian Edler, CEO of SunTechnics Energy Systems, Inc. said "Our international and proven engineering expertise has been a critical factor in SunTechnics’ contribution to the Fort Carson project. Our ability to provide a customized renewable energy solution such as our unique output guarantee assures the maximum return on investment and enables us to make a difference for this high-profile project."
3 Phases Energy selected Morgan Stanley Co. as the project investor and long term owner. "This project represents an example of successful collaboration between a developer, state and federal government, the US Army, utilities and financing community" added Edward Levin, a Vice President in the New York Global Structured Products Group of Morgan Stanley.
The ground-mounted solar array will consist of flat-plate, thin-film solar technology provided by First Solar, an Arizona company. The solar modules are warranted for 25 years and the plant can be expected to produce energy efficiently for up to 40 years.
"Reducing Fort Carson's reliance on fossil fuels helps us build a sustainable energy future that is good for our bottom line, the environment, and national security," said Vince Guthrie who oversees Fort Carson's utilities and electric bills.
About Fort Carson
Fort Carson, the Army's "Mountain Post," located south of Colorado Spring, is home to the Army's 4th Infantry Division, Headquarters for Division West, 1st U.S. Army, which is responsible for the training of all Reserve Component units west of the Mississippi River, and 10th Special Forces Group, among other U.S. Army units. It is one of the largest Army installations in the western United States.
About 3 Phases Energy Services
3 Phases Energy Services is a renewable energy project developer and marketer, which provides renewable energy solutions for corporations, institutions, and utilities. 3 Phases Energy Services was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency as the 2005 Renewable Energy Technology Provider of the Year. For more information visit www.3phases.com.
About Western Area Power Administration
Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 10,000 megawatts of power from hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 15 western and central states. It is part of the U.S. Department of Energy.
About Xcel Energy
Xcel Energy is a major U.S. electricity and natural gas company with regulated operations in eight Western and Midwestern states. Xcel Energy provides a comprehensive portfolio of energy-related products and services to 3.3 million electricity customers and 1.8 million natural gas customers through its regulated operating companies. Company headquarters are located in Minneapolis. More information is available at www.xcelenergy.com.
About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is a leading global financial services firm providing a wide range of investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 600 offices in 31 countries. Morgan Stanley's broad energy portfolio increasingly includes alternative and renewable energy financing, such as with SunPower, to encourage energy efficient technologies. For further information about Morgan Stanley, please visit www.morganstanley.com.
Fort Carson: Vince Guthrie (719) 526-2927
3 Phases: Erik Rothenberg (310) 821-0998
Western Area Power Administration: Randy Manion, (720) 962-7423
SunTechnics: Chuck Sippel (916) 554-3027
Morgan Stanley: Edward Levin (212) 761-5979
Xcel Energy: Ethnie Groves (303) 294-2300
Colorado Springs Utilities: Tyrone Johnson (719) 668-8241