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DoD Vows to Dramatically Increase Renewable Energy Output

Apr. 11, 2012 - 03:01PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
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The U.S. Defense Department will develop 3 gigawatts of renewable energy by fiscal 2025 — enough to power 750,000 homes — according to an announcement by the White House on April 11.

Each service branch will develop 1 gigawatt of renewable energy: the U.S. Air Force by 2016, the U.S. Navy by 2020, and the U.S. Army by 2025.

The Defense Department will reach its goal by using a variety of alternative financing techniques, according to the administration, including:

• Energy savings performance contracts, where a company pays the upfront investment for energy-efficiency renovations and retrofits in exchange for payments from energy savings over time.

• Enhanced-use leases, where a company gets to develop government land with renewable energy or other projects in exchange for payment or in-kind services such as reduced-rate energy.

• Power purchase agreements, in which a power company constructs an energy system in exchange for fixed payments over a certain number of years.

Also on April 11, the Army opened a 30,000-square-foot lab in Detroit dedicated to developing alternative energy sources for the next generation of combat vehicles.

The Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab will focus on developing energy technologies that will not rely on traditional gasoline or fuel, according to the administration.

The new laboratory is part of a new goal for the Army to launch a “green warrior convoy” of vehicles powered by alternative fuels by the end of fiscal 2013.

The convoy will tour the country, stopping at schools, colleges and military facilities, according to the administration.

DoD estimates that for every $1 increase in a barrel of oil, it incurs an additional $130 million in fuel costs.

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