Use of Renewable Energy Technologies at U.S. Army Facilities

R. Ducey (USA)


renewable, solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, biomass


With current trends of utility deregulation, central powerplant privatization, concerns over environmental compliance, and threats of terrorist aggression, the future of an adequate, secure, reliable, sustainable, and affordable energy supply for U.S. Army facilities is not as clear as it once was. For electric power, major utility companies are less willing to risk investment capital to add generating capacity of their own. Though not true just a few years ago, the U.S. electric utility industry is now more inclined to allow customers with co-generation capabilities, and small, third-party powerplant operators, to connect to their transmission and distribution grids. Agreements that allow dispatching these distributed resources for load sharing, or for periods of peak demand, recognize the high value of the electricity that is generated. In recent years, the U.S. Army has investigated renewable energy technologies that can serve these needs. Though initial costs for these technologies are typically higher than conventional systems, the life-cycle costs are often less. In addition, development of these domestic energy resources is more likely to comply with environmental requirements and is more secure and sustainable, because dependence on finite fossil fuel resources from foreign suppliers is reduced. Energy shortages and resulting cost volatility have dramatized the need for a more diverse portfolio of energy supply options at U.S. Army installations. And, in accordance with Executive Order 13123 and the development of the most recent National Energy Policy, government agencies are directed to increase the use of renewable energy technologies.

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