Air Force Reliance on Renewable Energy Climbs

Production from renewable energy sources jumped 53 percent from 2012 to 2013 at Air Force installations, with 8 percent of the electricity consumed by the service coming from renewable sources in fiscal 2013, Kathleen Ferguson, acting assistant secretary for installations, environment and logistics, told lawmakers last week.

This year the service is planning renewable projects expected to provide more than 31 megawatts of capacity. An additional 31 to 41 megawatts are planned for FY 2015, according to the written testimony Ferguson submitted to the Senate Armed Services Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee.

“Currently, the Air Force has 256 renewable energy projects in operation across a wide variety of renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, and waste-to-energy projects,” she told the panel.  

The service is looking to the private sector to finance renewable and energy conservation projects. The primary vehicles officials are using are enhanced use leases and power purchase agreements.

“We see tremendous potential for third-party investments to construct on-base renewable projects,” according to Ferguson’s testimony.

On the energy conservation front, the Air Force has awarded $94 million in energy savings performance contracts (ESPC) and utility energy service contracts (UESC) since FY 2012. Over the next two years, the Air Force anticipates awarding five ESPC and five UESC projects.

To read Ferguson’s full statement, visit the committee’s website.  

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