In an effort to develop renewable energy infrastructure, the U.S. Army recently announced that it’s seeking $7.1 billion in private sector investment in alternative energy projects over the next ten years. Such projects would provide the Army with 2.1 million megawatt hours of power annually. The newly-formed Energy Initiatives Office Task Force (EIO), which was created to address the Army’s energy challenges, will manage these projects.
As part of a power purchase agreement, private companies would build the technologies on Army property for free, and the Army would purchase the energy at a later date. Such an agreement would mean that the Army could use its abundant federal land space as a way to invest in renewable technologies in spite of current budgetary shortfalls—shortfalls that have threatened to hinder its energy efficiency goals of operating on 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
Talking Points Memo explains that the reason for and importance of establishing these standards is two-fold in that it will both reduce greenhouse gas emissions but also address security issues inherent in using energy sources susceptible to “price spikes, shortages and grid disruptions.”
Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, whose office oversees the EIO Task Force, said that in keeping with its commitment to innovation, the Army will be open to a wide range of alternative energy technologies for these projects.