The Army will partner with industry for up to $7 billion in renewable-energy sources – wind, solar, biomass and geothermal – and has released a draft request for proposals that could allow multiple projects to begin nationwide.
Speaking at a recent media roundtable, Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, said the cumulative investment will help the Army reach its goal of meeting 25 percent of the Army’s energy needs with renewable sources by 2025. She began the roundtable by restating the Army’s “net-zero strategy.”
“Specifically, a net-zero energy installation produces as much energy annually as it uses, and this does not mean replacement of current energy requirements with onsite energy production,” she said. “It means that installations address energy efficiency as the primary first step and then evaluate, repurpose and reuse energy as well as energy recovery.”
The Army projects it will need 2.5 million megawatt hours produced worldwide, of which 25 percent must come from renewable energy resources by 2025. In addition to energy conservation, installations will strive to establish alternative forms of energy that will allow them to “island” or continue to operate should the power grid fail.
“We understand there’s a need to enhance our energy security because it’s operationally necessary, financially prudent and critical to our mission,” Hammack said. “We know that power grids are increasingly vulnerable and expose Army operations to risk.” She said those risks include terrorist attacks as well as natural disasters, such as drought and forest-fire conditions in the west (which some installations are already facing) and unstable weather to include tornadoes.
Hammack said the Army’s risk-mitigation strategy involves onsite renewable-energy production and, she said, it must be done in a fiscally responsible manner. To insure fiscal prudence, officials say an Energy Initiatives Task Force will serve as the central managing office to plan and execute large-scale renewable energy projects of greater than 10 megawatts (roughly enough to power 30,000 homes) on Army installations, which will be accomplished by leveraging private-sector financing.
Source: 25x’25 Weekly REsource