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Defense Communities 360 Headlines

Army Not Favoring Utilities for New Development, Energy Officials Say

  • October 10, 2014
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Several of the Army’s most recent awards for the development of new renewable energy projects have gone to local utilities, but the service continues to maintain a balance between projects awarded to utilities and private developers, its top energy officials said Wednesday at a Pentagon media roundtable. In May, the Army announced plans to develop 30-megawatt, alternating current, solar photovoltaic arrays at three installations in the state — Forts Stewart, Gordon and Benning — with the Georgia Power Co. Less than one month earlier, officials held a groundbreaking for an 18-megawatt solar project at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. “So it sounds like we’re doing all our projects with utilities,” said Amanda Simpson, executive director of the Army’s newly established Office of Energy Initiatives …

State Senate Passes Bill to Make Pennsylvania Base Commission Permanent

  • October 10, 2014
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The Pennsylvania Senate on Wednesday moved to protect the commonwealth’s installations from future Pentagon realignments, approving a measure to permanently establish the Pennsylvania Military Community Protection Commission. “As other states commit tens of millions of dollars to boost their own military installations, our state government must make a concerted effort to ensure the Department of Defense continues to recognize the value of our facilities,” said state Sen. Richard Alloway II (R), who serves as co-chairman of the Military Installations and Base Development Caucus. The commission was originally established by an executive order in 2012 to explore strategies to preserve and enhance the state’s installations ahead of a future BRAC …

ADC Earns Tax Status for Charitable Organizations

  • October 9, 2014
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The IRS has granted ADC designation as a tax-exempt, charitable organization, a change association leadership sought to allow it to continue its close working relationship with DOD and other federal agencies. The new 501(c)(3) designation, which is used by nonprofits whose mission is primarily educational, will better align with ADC’s mission and services. For the past three decades ADC had been a 501(c)(6) organization, a designation typically used by business leagues to unite individuals with a common business purpose. 501(c)(6) organizations recently have come under increased scrutiny because of their ability to engage in political activity, with federal agencies beginning to consider the possibility of curtailing their participation with such groups …

Monterey Leaders Form Group to Support Area Installations

  • October 9, 2014
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With a BRAC round looming and the Pentagon forced to slash expenses, a group of elected officials and community leaders from California’s Monterey Peninsula have formed an alliance to advocate for the region’s military missions and defense facilities. The Monterey Regional Defense Alliance is an effort to broaden support for local defense facilities — including the Presidio of Monterey/Defense Language Institute and the Naval Postgraduate School — beyond the city of Monterey, said Mary Ann Leffel, president of the Monterey County Business Council. A strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats analysis of the region’s installations now underway by the city likely will be one the alliance’s first agenda items, reports the Monterey Herald. About 10,000 people are employed in the local defense sector, generating a $1.4 billion annual economic impact. “The closure of one or more of these installations would be potentially catastrophic,” said Dino Pick, deputy city manager for the city.

Air Force Searches for Partner to Develop 20MW Solar Array at Vandenberg AFB

  • October 9, 2014
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The Air Force has released a request for proposals for a 20-megawatt solar photovoltaic array at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., which will be tied directly into the base’s power grid. The array will span 170 acres on a demolished family housing site and generate an estimated 37,387 megawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to provide 25 percent of the base’s energy needs. The Air Force will enter into a long-term power purchase agreement with the winning developer, who will build, own and operate the system. The developer also will own and sell the renewable energy credits generated by the project, further lowering the cost for the Air Force …

President, House Democrats Highlight Dangers of Sequestration

  • October 8, 2014
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During a rare visit to the Pentagon, President Obama on Wednesday warned about the deleterious impacts of the 2011 Budget Control Act spending caps on national defense, underscoring the need “to make sure that Congress is working with us to avoid, for example, some of the draconian cuts that are called for in sequestration.” Obama added that lawmakers need to ensure the military has “the equipment and the technology that’s necessary for them to be able to succeed at their mission,” reported the Hill. “We have done some enormous work, and I want to thank everybody sitting around this table to continue to make our forces leaner, meaner, more effective, more tailored to the particular challenges that we’re going to face in the 21st century …

County Extends Ban on Tall Energy Facilities to Protect Travis AFB

  • October 8, 2014
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In an effort to protect operations at Travis Air Force Base in northern California, the Solano County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday extended a prohibition on commercial renewable energy and wireless communication facilities exceeding 200 feet in height in the unincorporated parts of the county. The measure extends an interim ordinance for one year to address potential impacts to the installation’s radar operation and a new C-17 assault landing zone. “Both are potentially threatened by increased renewable energy development,” staff noted in a report to the board …

County Continues Effort to Protect New Jersey Base from Encroachment

  • October 8, 2014
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The Ocean County Natural Lands Trust Fund is purchasing a 167-acre tract outside of Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, extending the community’s effort to provide a buffer for the central New Jersey installation. In recent years, the county and the Pentagon have partnered to protect 13 properties totaling 8,574 acres neighboring the base, which sits in Burlington and Ocean counties, reported the Messenger-Press. DOD has provided $6.1 million out of a total cost of $14.8 million to purchase the properties. The purchase of another 11 properties by the base totaling 2,536 acres is pending …

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit against Ft. McPherson Sale

  • October 8, 2014
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A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit from an Atlanta entertainment company seeking to block the sale of 330 acres at the former Fort McPherson to filmmaker Tyler Perry, ruling it was too early for the court to hear the case. Ubiquitous Entertainment Studios claimed it had met with the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority about purchasing 80 acres for a movie studio entertainment complex in 2011 — before the city of Atlanta entered discussions with Perry — but was told officials couldn’t negotiate until the Army transferred the property. The suit, filed in July, accuses the authority of violating its bylaws when it offered the property to Perry outside of a public competition …

Concord Residents to Learn about Developer Proposals for Weapons Station in January

  • October 8, 2014
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The city of Concord, Calif., is planning to hold a public meeting in January for the City Council and residents to learn about the reuse plans proposed by the four candidates vying to become the master developer for the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. The proposals are due in late November. All four teams — Catellus Development Corp., FivePoint Communities/Lennar, J.F. Shea Co. and SunCal — have significant experience in base redevelopment, reported the Contra Costa Times. The Concord Reuse Project Area Plan calls for a mix of residential, office and commercial uses on about 2,300 acres near the North Concord BART station, while preserving 69 percent of the site for open space and recreational use. Separately, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Mercedes-Benz last week announced a partnership to test self-driving vehicles and new transportation technology on the nearly 20 miles of paved roadways on the base, according to the story.

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