US Navy Renewable Energy Program

To assist the U.S. Navy in achieving energy security, WSP USA performed environmental assessments at numerous installations within an abbreviated schedule to expedite diversification of our client’s energy portfolio.



Client

  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Southeast

Project Status

  • Complete

Importance of Energy

Having secure, reliable energy is critical to the Department of the Navy, as energy is vital to defense operations and national security. The Navy established the Renewable Energy Program Office (REPO) in 2014 to advance the integration of renewable energy into the electrical grid that serves naval installations and set an ambitious goal to reach 1 gigawatt (GW) capacity within the year.

Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC), Southeast contracted with WSP to complete NEPA-compliant environmental assessments (EAs) for solar development at 11 naval installations, to enable renewable energy procurement before investment tax credits for private developers expired. Our challenge was to complete 11 complicated EAs within a single calendar year — each of which typically takes 12-18 months — including fieldwork and agency consultation regarding wetlands, protected species and cultural resources.

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Expertise

WSP leadership quickly mobilized 70 full-time staff necessary to complete work on the multiple concurrent EAs, cultural resource surveys, biological assessments, threatened and endangered species surveys and wetland delineations. We identified 11 regional managers who understood Navy preference and process and could begin the EAs and fieldwork immediately. We also employed the expertise of our renewable energy team, who applied lessons learned from both commercial and government development across the country to guide evaluation of the impacts of solar development on natural resources.

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All Hands On Deck

Our all-hands-on-deck approach contributed toward over 400 megawatts of the 1 GW goal, and the Navy reached 1.1 GW capacity by the end of the year. By diversifying their energy portfolio, the Navy has improved energy security, operational capability, strategic flexibility and resource availability.

Building on our success, the Navy enlisted WSP to complete an additional eight EAs the following year, including six more solar and two wind development projects at both on- and off-base locations.


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