U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today released the following statement after the Army announced that it had canceled its request to alter the 20-year agreement allowing ReEenrgy to provide Fort Drum with biomass energy:
“I’m so pleased to hear that the Army will be honoring its contract with ReEnergy, and that Fort Drum will maintain its status as the only 100% energy-independent, self-sustaining and off-the-grid military installation in the country. Not only does this contract support good-paying jobs in the North County, but it also ensures that in the event of an attack on our power grid, Fort Drum could continue to meet readiness requirements without disruptions. I thank the Army for heeding my numerous calls and helping to promote Fort Drum’s energy security and reliability,” said Senator Schumer.
In 2014, Schumer helped facilitate a contract between the Army and ReEnergy for Fort Drum to receive renewable, on-site biomass energy from the company for 20 total years. However, news reports indicated that the Army had proposed ending or significantly amending the contract, despite ReEnergy meeting all performance requirements and investing $50 million into the facility. Schumer explained that such an action would not only have jeopardized hundreds of good-paying jobs in Upstate New York, but it would have undermined Fort Drum’s energy resilience when facing potential threats to the energy grid. Schumer added that such an action would have a negative impact on all future agreements because bidders will price into contracts the risk that the Army may change its mind mid-contract. In May of this year, Schumer met with the Secretary of the Army, Ryan McCarthy, and the Chief of Staff of the Army, General James C. McConville, and urged both senior leaders to honor ReEnergy’s contract with Fort Drum.
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