• 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 …

  • 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

  • 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 …

  • Tornado Damages Solar Project at Minnesota National Guard Site

    Tornado Damages Solar Project at Minnesota National Guard Site0

    A 10-megawatt solar array still under construction at Camp Ripley in central Minnesota was damaged after a tornado tore through the 53,000-acre National Guard training site last week. About 25 percent of the 97 rows of solar panels sustained damage on Sept. 7, including twisted and broken racks that hold the solar panels in place, broken panels and damaged wiring, according to a Minnesota Power press release. The panels were crushed by a large storage container and other debris blown into the array. The utility has begun developing a plan to repair or replace damaged components …

  • 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.

  • Texas Regulators Urge Rule to Improve Coordination between DOD, Wind Energy Developers

    Texas Regulators Urge Rule to Improve Coordination between DOD, Wind Energy Developers0

    Wind farm developers in Texas would be required to notify the Defense Department of their plans before connecting to the state’s electricity grid, under a legislative proposal the operator of the state grid wants lawmakers to consider. An official with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) proposed the rule change to the Texas House Defense and Veterans Affairs Committee during a hearing last week in Wichita Falls. Sheppard Air Force Base leaders have said two wind farm projects in north central Texas could threaten the installation’s pilot training mission by interfering with the base’s radar systems and limiting the number of days pilots could train. Warren Lasher, ERCOT’s director of planning, wants to see “increased coordination and communication” between DOD and wind energy developers to resolve the dispute over the projects near Sheppard and other similar conflicts …