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.”
Photo from pixor via flickr creative commons