US Army looks to attract $7.1 bil in private funds for renewables
Washington (Platts)--10Aug2011/535 pm EDT/2135 GMT
The US Army said Wednesday it intends to set up a special task force to
help attract $7.1 billion in private investment for large-scale,
renewable-energy projects on its bases, with the aim of getting 25% of its
power from renewable or alternative sources by 2025.
The new Energy Initiatives Office Task Force is scheduled to be up and
running by September 15, and is meant to be a one-stop shop for companies
interested in building renewable projects on Army land, Army Secretary John
McHugh told reporters on a conference call.
"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," McHugh said. "To meet a goal of 25%
renewable energy by 2025, the Army must use every opportunity to be energy
efficient and draw power from alternative and/or renewable energy sources."
The Department of Defense makes up 80% of the energy the federal
government consumes. The Army alone constitutes about 21% of that.
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The task force will focus on large-scale renewable energy projects,
about 10-MW, such as wind and solar, and attracting private sector investment.
The Army already has 126 renewable-energy projects of various sizes underway
on its bases and last year released a memorandum calling for buildings on
all of the service's facilities to meet more stringent energy-efficiency
"What we are looking toward is a better partnership, and an infusion,
quite frankly, of private-sector investment, where it would be a win-win
situation," McHugh said. "A more reliable source and a local source, an
affordable source of energy for the Army, and for the private sector, a
guaranteed customer in the Army with the opportunity to sell any excess power
production to the outside grid."
The proposal came as the Pentagon institutes a range of policies and
adopts a number of technologies to reduce its energy use. The Army is seeking
also to boost its use of electric vehicles, while the Navy is aiming to
reduce its use of fossil fuels by 50% by 2015, in addition to launching an
alternative-fuel-run "Great Green Fleet" carrier strike group by 2016.
Similarly, the Air Force is attempting to meet half of its fossil-fuel
needs through biofuels by 2016, while the Marine Corps intends to reduce
overall energy use by 30% in the next five years.
--Derek Sands, firstname.lastname@example.org