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The Army Creates a Task Force for Renewable Energy Projects

The Army Creates a Task Force for Renewable Energy Projects


On August 10, John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army, announced the creation of the Energy Initiatives Office (EIO) Task Force. The EIO will serve the central managing office for developing large-scale Army renewable energy projects, and will be in operation fully by September 15, 2011. This is significant, since the federal government uses two percent of all the energy in the U.S., and the DOD accounts for 90 percent of that.

An estimated $7.1 billion investment in renewable energy over the next decade is needed to meet the Army’s energy needs. That amount of investment will generate an expected 2.1 million megawatt hours of power a year for the Army.

The Army is already working on renewable energy projects. For example, a micro solar grid is being constructed at the nation’s largest Army Reserve training post, Fort Hunter Ligett in California. The micro solar grid will generate one megawatt (MW) of energy, and will be 40 feet by 1,200 feet, stretching over an existing parking lot. It will save an estimated $1 million a year in energy costs.

“The Energy Initiatives Office Task Force will help the Army build resilience through renewable energy while streamlining our business practices so developers can invest in and build an economically viable, large-scale renewable energy infrastructure,” said McHugh. “To meet a goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025, the Army must use every opportunity to be energy efficient and draw power from alternative and/or renewable energy sources.”

“Addressing our energy security needs is operationally necessary, fiscally prudent and vital to mission accomplishment,” McHugh said.

Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment added, “The Army must leverage opportunities in renewable energy, which will enhance energy security.”

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Photo from pixor via flickr creative commons

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11:52PM PDT on Aug 17, 2011


11:54AM PDT on Aug 16, 2011


6:07AM PDT on Aug 16, 2011

Yes spin off from military R&D has brought some really neat products to the civilian economy including the internet.

11:44AM PDT on Aug 15, 2011

Currently the cost of solar electricity is $0.2025 kWh or $202 mWh So to produce the energy they want at current prices would be $202 mWh * 2.1 e6 = $425.25 Million.
So this could be done almost immediately at less than 1/16th the cost. If they want to spend the money, why not produce 25%*16 = 400% of the energy and be an energy exporter. This of course would drive down the costs, so they could probably produce at least 420% or so by 2020 and give the US industry a boost. These costs do not include advancements that have already happened like the 43.5% efficient concentrator cell by Solar Junction or the record 29.1% efficient single junction solar cell by Alta Devices.(
Hopefully this program will help the US come from being 5th in solar production to being on top again. In areas with good sunlight (DNI), there can also be some big gains with some new architectures like the Rainbow concentrator by Sol Solution ( or the low profile concentrator by Moran Solar (

10:11AM PDT on Aug 14, 2011

The Military has been planning for a long time to deal with wars caused by global warming, too. Famine, floods and drought cause great population upheavals.
In many conflicts, the difficulty of getting large quantities of fuel into the combat zone has a big impact on mission success. Just look at the vulnerability of our supply lines into Afghanistan, always being attacked in Pakistan. The weight of fuel and its flammability complicate a lot of missions, so alternative energy sources are very important.

4:45AM PDT on Aug 14, 2011

Good to see.

3:07PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

That's a great idea for the army to get busy with! We certainly don't want it fighting any longer

2:26PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Great Step!!

1:37PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

Great Article

12:46PM PDT on Aug 13, 2011

This is very good news for investors in renewable energy!!

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