According to a recent Department of Defense report, the military nearly doubled renewable power generation between 2011 and 2015, to 10,534 billion British thermal units – or enough to power about 286,000 average U.S. homes. The report also stated that the number of armed forces renewable energy projects nearly tripled to 1,390 between 2011 and 2015. Many of those projects are at U.S. bases, where renewable energy allows the military to maintain its own independent source of power in case of a natural disaster or an attack – or cyber attack – that disables the public grid.
The solar company SunPower Corp, for example, recently began construction of a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic system at the Redstone Arsenal U.S. Army post in Alabama designed to strengthen energy security and resilience at the base. The project was developed by the U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives, Redstone Arsenal’s Directorate of Public Works, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Huntsville Center’s Energy Division, and was financed by a power purchase agreement (PPA), allowing the Army to buy 100 percent of the power generated without having to pay for the power plant’s construction, maintenance and operation.
“This project reinforces the Army’s commitment to advancing adoption of reliable, cost-effective, home-grown renewable energy at Redstone Arsenal,” said Col. Thomas Holliday, Garrison Commander, Redstone Arsenal. “We’re continually looking for ways to grow our capability and reduce our cost to provide the nation with a more efficient defense.”