The US Army and Air Force are planning to develop 1 billion watts of renewable energy on their installations by 2025. The plan marks the latest milestone in a multi-year endeavor to find ways to make the military more energy efficient, said Katherine Hammack, the assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, and Terry Yonkers, the assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.
Energy security drives the initiatives, Hammack said, adding that increased usage of renewable energy on military installations would enable them to operate even if local power grids go down.
The Army Corps of Engineers will work with the two services to assess land and resources and to determine energy transmission capabilities, Hammack said.
As the technology develops, she said, renewable energy steps will include the installation of solar paneling on military base buildings and vehicle garages, and dual-usage of the panels as land buffers.
Biofuels will be a behind-the-scenes game changer for the Air Force, according to Yonkers, who lauded the seminal research of alternative fuels at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
Private sector financing will be the linchpin of the services’ energy endeavors through power purchase agreements, enhanced use leasing, energy savings performance contracts and utility energy savings contracts, Yonkers said. New sources of clean energy will vary among installations, he said, and will include solar, wind, biomass and geothermal developments.
The Army will host the Army-Air Force Energy Forum 12 July in Arlington, Va.