Army Steamrolls $7 Billion In Renewable Energy Projects, Sequester Or No Sequester
May 9, 2013 Tina Casey
The U.S. Army has just launched the first in a series of renewable energy contracts that will eventually total $7 billion by the end of this year, using power purchase agreements along with a standard procurement tool that is expected to crush any obstacles that are put in its path. That includes the notorious budget sequester as well as any objections from the anti-renewable energy crowd in Congress, which has already used the budget as an excuse to sink the Navy’s biofuel initiatives. So, let’s see what kind of firepower the Army has on its side.
The Army Renewable Energy Initiative
The Navy biofuel program really has attracted a lot of negativity from certain legislators over the past couple of years, but as far as renewable energy goes, the Navy has a fairly modest outlook compared to the Army’s Net Zero Vision.
Army Net Zero is just what it says – a net zero plan for energy, water and waste at Army facilities – but it goes far beyond that to embrace environmental stewardship and community health as essential elements of national defense.
That holistic perspective is reinforced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Take a look at the USACE Earth Day statement from a couple of years ago:
“For those of us who are part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), it’s one more day in our journey toward ensuring that our actions are sustainable and that we are the very best stewards we can be of this country, of this planet…We are the nation’s environmental engineer. No other federal agency is addressing environmental issues of the same scope and magnitude as we are…”
Keeping that in mind, in 2011 the Army established the Energy Initiatives Task Force to streamline the process for getting utility-scale renewable energy in the pipeline for construction on its bases, the idea being that hyper-local energy sourcing is