The Department of Defense awarded seven defense contracts Thursday, worth a total of at least $96.2 million -- and potentially a whole lot more -- to the companies receiving contracts.

The big news of the day was of a significant expansion in the number of companies now permitted to bid on the Pentagon's $7 billion "green energy" project, which received so much attention last summer.

With authorization from a 2012 Renewable and Alternative Energy Power Production, Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has already awarded Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to dozens of companies willing to supply the military with up to $7 billion worth of "reliable, locally generated" wind, solar, biomass, and geothermal energy during the course of the next 30 years. The goal is to get 25% of the Pentagon's power requirements (1 gigawatt) covered by "renewable" sources by 2025. On Thursday, the Pentagon named several new participants in the PPAs for biomass, wind, and solar power supply.

Specifically, Ameresco (NYSE:AMRC) can now bid on task orders for the supply of biomass, wind, and solar power. Waste Management (NYSE:WM) subsidiary Wheelabrator Technologies can bid on biomass power PPAs.

The following companies have been added to the list of companies able to bid to supply solar power only:

  • ABM Industries (NYSE: ABM)
  • Chevron (NYSE:CVX)
  • Constellation Energy Partners (NYSEMKT: CEP)
  • First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR)
  • and Sun Edison (NYSE:SUNE).

Also, several new privately held, and at least one foreign-listed company, were named as authorized bidders to supply energy from these various sources. The ceiling value on all contracts, for energy from all sources, remains at $7 billion. The expiration date for all contracts remains Feb. 12, 2024.

Rich Smith has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ameresco, Chevron, and Waste Management. The Motley Fool owns shares of Waste Management. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.