Major shifts in human behavior often require kickstarting by big players. When it comes to energy usage, the U.S. Army is well-positioned to create momentum.

The Army proactively asserted itself in this realm recently when it announced that it would partner with private industry for up to $7 million in renewable-energy sources. The announcement, made in mid-March, was accompanied by the release of a draft request for proposal (RFP) that could allow multiple projects to begin simultaneously nationwide.

The Army’s Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) is charged with overseeing the process. In conjunction with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, it has developed an RFP under what is referred to as the Multiple Award Order Contract, a two-step process that allows companies to first submit proposals and qualifications that are not project--specific. Once companies have been selected based on their broad qualifications, they will be able to bid on specific projects.

The Army will entertain bids for solar, wind, biomass and geothermal energy projects, which will enable it to meet the goal of having 25 percent of its energy come from renewable sources by 2025.

This goal is part of the Army’s net-zero energy strategy, in which installations produce as much energy every year as they consume. To achieve this balance, the Army will not only use on-site generation of renewable power, but it intends to maximize efficiency and energy reuse to help lower overall electricity consumption.

The 25 percent renewable standard is based on a total of 2.5 million megawatt-hours the Army projects it will need at its installations by 2025.