• Evolving Energy Industry Creates New Opportunities for Securing Power to Army Installations1

    In the past couple of years, energy resilience has become a watchword for the military services as they adjust their focus from adopting renewables to reducing their installations’ vulnerability to disruptions in the electrical grid. Shaping the Army’s approach to enhancing resiliency are recent trends in energy production, distribution and economics that are creating more opportunities for installations to use a distributed generation approach to help reduce supply chain vulnerability, Michael McGhee, executive director of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, told Defense Communities 360. Since its predecessor organization was created in 2011, OEI has pursued the development of large-scale renewable and alternative energy projects on Army installations. The service’s emphasis on resilience favors new projects which deploy resources that are behind an installation’s fence line and provide an islanding capability …

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  • New Climate Policies Needn’t Disrupt DOD’s Reliance on Renewables, Conger Says

    New Climate Policies Needn’t Disrupt DOD’s Reliance on Renewables, Conger Says0

    President Trump’s steps so far to back away from existing policies intended to address climate change have not upended the military services’ push to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. But the department’s former installations and energy chief says even if the new administration revisits DOD’s policies on sustainability, it should be careful not to limit efforts that can be justified for reasons beyond their environmental benefits. There is a clear business case for the military to develop new generation capacity on base using solar, wind or other renewable resources as they are generally financed by developers or utilities and can cut an installation’s electricity bill, John Conger, who led the Pentagon’s installations office from 2012 to 2015, told Defense Communities 360 …

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  • Utility Completes Second Array at a Georgia Military Base

    Utility Completes Second Array at a Georgia Military Base0

    Leaders from the Navy, Georgia Power and the Georgia Public Service Commission on Monday celebrated the opening of a $75 million, 30-megawatt solar array at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga. Now operational, this 254-acre solar farm contains approximately 133,000 solar photovoltaic panels and is delivering energy to the installation and the surrounding community at

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  • Energy Security Proves to Be Elusive Benefit of Large-Scale Projects, GAO Finds0

    The military services typically cite energy security as a benefit of their large-scale renewable energy projects, but in a study of 17 projects across DOD, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that only a small fraction were designed to provide power to installations in the event of a disruption of the commercial grid without additional investments. Only two of the 17 projects — a biomass plant at Fort Drum, N.Y., and a landfill gas facility at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Ga. — could provide electricity to the installation during a grid outage without additional steps, according to the GAO study. Five others would require additional investments, such as the installation of batteries or other energy storage equipment …

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  • Navy Close to Deal to Develop Solar Array at NAS Jacksonville

    Navy Close to Deal to Develop Solar Array at NAS Jacksonville0

    The Navy expects to complete a deal shortly with a utility to build a solar farm on 50 acres at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla. The project is estimated to generate 5 megawatts of electricity that would be delivered to the commercial grid, reported WOKV. An environmental assessment determined the project would not have a significant impact. “The solar project would benefit both the local community and the Navy, bringing renewable energy to the area and energy security with it being on Navy property,” Sue Brink, a spokeswoman for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast, told the radio station. The secretary of the Navy set a goal for the service’s shore-based operations to acquire one-half of their electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020. After surpassing the secretary’s goal of bringing one gigawatt of renewable energy into procurement by the end of 2015, the Navy now is exploring the latest advances such as battery storage, electrification, fuel cells and microgrids to further enhance its energy security, operational capability, strategic flexibility and resource availability.

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  • Cyber Activities Heighten Importance of Energy Assurance, James Says

    Cyber Activities Heighten Importance of Energy Assurance, James Says0

    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James last week highlighted the service’s shift to a more comprehensive approach to meeting its energy goals that balances the need for cleaner sources of energy, a competitive cost and energy resiliency. The Air Force’s new approach will be carried out by the Office of Energy Assurance, which will develop privately financed, large-scale clean energy projects. The office, which was created in March, will leverage existing tools and authorities to procure large-scale energy projects, including power purchase agreements, direct funding and enhanced use leasing. “We are going to have to make sure there’s some money there. Like with any new approach you perhaps start on the smaller side and then you scale from there,” James said …

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