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Navy, Army Push to Meet Renewable Energy Goals

geothermalpowerThe Navy is making headway in meeting its alternative energy goals over the next decade as the service partners with technology companies to harness ocean thermal energy to generate electricity for its naval bases, reports National Defense magazine. A key reason: naval bases consume about 25 percent of the Navy’s annual energy resources.

Meanwhile, other military services like the Army Corps of Engineers are ramping up their solar system installations.

Renewable energy projects at naval and army installations are a big part of an effort by the entire Defense Department agencies to meet its internal goal of generating 25 percent of all energy from renewable sources by 2025. Last year, the U.S. military launched several “green” initiatives including solar and wind projects that officials estimate could save millions, reduce their environmental footprint and save lives in war zones where fuel convoys are frequent targets.

Rear Adm. Philip Cullom, director of the Navy’s fleet readiness division told National Defense that naval installations are making a transition to grids powered by renewable energy sources, and expects to generate half of the service’s shore-based installation energy requirements from alternative sources within the next decade. These sources include solar, wind, ocean and geothermal energy, which could also supply power to the U.S. grid.

As an example, China Lake Naval Station, Calif., features a geothermal plant that produces 270 megawatts of power.

Thermal energy from the ocean is gaining interest because seawater is readily available 24×7, and the environmental impact on oceans is minimal. Experts tell the publication the technology could potentially produce three to five terawatts of power, which is about 30 percent of today’s total global energy consumption.

The Navy recently awarded an $8.1 million contract to Lockheed Martin to continue development of a 10-megawatt ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) pilot plant, targeted for the Naval Station Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, which could be in place as early as 2013.

If successful, the pilot plant could scale up to 100-megawatt plants, aimed at other bases in the Pacific. Plants could be built as soon as 2020.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are also adding to their renewable energy portfolio. The Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District park and dam operation offices in California are installing solar energy systems at nine locations. These include offices at New Hogan Lake Englebright Lake, Stanislaus River Parks, Lake Isabella Dam, Black Butte Lake, Eastman Lake, Pine Flat Lake, Hensley Lake and Lake Kaweah.

The systems are expected to provide 41 percent of each office’s electricity needs on average. The projects are funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA),

In addition to reducing energy consumption, the solar panels, for example, at New Hogan Lake, which will be completed by June, will also cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 28,000 pounds annually, and district wide, reduce carbon emissions by 156,000 pounds annually.

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3 thoughts on “Navy, Army Push to Meet Renewable Energy Goals

  1. The US army seems like a wasteful lot if you ask me. A small example: the army has a recruiting facility on the beach in Panama City, FL. Overnight, when non-one is around (to recruit or be recruited) a generator pumps into the night, flooding lights on the beach that no-one will see. I think the army start dealing with making its practices more efficient first.

  2. Deepwater Structures Inc. (DSI) has developed an innovative and cost effective Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) energy technology for the globe. The technology would effectively do the climate change, business, infrastructure and the environment of the global world. Renewable energy technologies are in general not cost effective. Wind, wave, current, tide, geothermal, solar etc are either not 100% reliable or not cost effective to invest. Their role in climate change, business, infrastructure and environment are limited.
    DSI OTEC is the only energy technology that would impact climate change, business, infrastructure and environment on the future earth. It would effectively reduce the global warming and control CO2 emission. DSI uses deep water oil and gas technologies to make the 1881 French Scientist dream into reality. DSI-OTEC could effectively change global energy business within the next decade. DSI 1000 mega watt OTEC power unit desing is ready to be fabricated for commertial and navy applications. The 1000 MW power plant capital cost is 3billion USD. The 100 MW OTEC power plant cost $400 million.

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