Aviation Week: Pentagon Looks to Green Energy For Savings

Source: Paul McLeary, Aviation Week, December 9, 2011.

The U.S. Army plans to spend $7.1 billion over the next decade on renewable-energy technologies to shave zeroes off its annual $15 billion oil bill.

To help figure out how, Army Secretary John McHugh announced last summer establishment of the Energy Initiatives Office Task Force, focused on “working with the private sector to execute large-scale renewable energy projects,” according to a statement. The task force will conduct “an aggressive outreach effort to attract and engage private industry” in renewable energy, while working on converting more than 5 million of the 15 million acres it owns in the U.S. for renewable energy infrastructure.

The announcement came shortly after Boeing teamed with Siemens to announce a strategic alliance for the development of smart-grid technologies to improve energy savings at military installations. Smart grids and microgrids typically consist of generators spread across an installation that are linked together to produce enough energy to meet demand at a given time, eliminating unnecessary power generation. The Army has pledged to reduce all energy, water and waste use at 100 installations worldwide to “net zero” by 2020. This means it would produce “as much energy on or near the installation as it consumes in its buildings and facilities,” according to Army documents.

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