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U.S. DoD Employs Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

The U.S. Department of Defense has deployed 1.6 megawatt of solid oxide fuel cells to power NSA facilities at Fort Meade, Maryland.  The amount of power generation capacity is equivalent to powering 1,200 homes.  The fuel cells system, manufactured by Bloom Energy and installed by ARGO Systems, eliminate the need for electrical transmission from the grid and costly backup infrastructure as they generate power on-site. Read more here. The U.S. DoD has also partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy in this area. Under the 2010 Memorandum of Understanding, the two departments agreed to install 18 fuel cell backup power systems at eight military installations across the U.S.

 

U.S. DoD’s Energy Costs Projections for FY2015

According to Edward Thomas Morehouse Jr., principal deputy assistant secretary of defense for operational energy plans and programs, the U.S. Department of Defense estimates that it will use about 96 million barrels of fuel at a cost of nearly $15 billion in fiscal year 2015. DoD plans to invest $1.7 billion to improve how energy is used for military operations, and about $9 billion across the Five-year Defense Plan. The 92% of the investment will be used to enhance energy performance of weapons and military forces, and another 7% will be used to diversify and secure supplies of operational energy. Morehouse also highlighted the level of progress DoD has achieved in the realm of energy, stating "With energy and energy logistics now being incorporated into major war games, and as a mandatory performance parameter in our requirements development process,...understanding how energy affects ...

Four U.S. Military Bases Go Solar

The U.S. Army teamed up with Georgia Power to install large photovoltaic solar arrays at three military bases. The arrays, scheduled to start generating power in 2015, will allow the Army to supply 18% of its electricity in Georgia from on-site renewable sources, moving it 9% closer to meeting federal goals for renewable energy. There will be no incremental cost to the Army or change in its rates or utility costs as all the electricity produced by these solar projects will be delivered to the utility’s grid. However, the military bases will be prioritized from Georgia Power during service interruptions. Read more at EnergyWire here . Meanwhile, the Army also plans to start development of another solar array at Fort Huachuca in Arizona in a joint effort between the U.S. Army Energy Initiative Task Force, Fort Huachuca, The General Services Administration, Tucson Electric Power and developer...

U.S. DoD Releases the First Comprehensive Defense Energy Policy in over 20 Years

The U.S. Department of Defense released its first overarching defense energy policy in more than two decades. The new policy directive initiated in June 2013 formalizes key energy management principles that guide DoD activities and provides “a much-anticipated common energy narrative” for the Department. Specifically, it provides guidance for the full range of defense energy activities such as operational and facilities energy, and assigns responsibilities for energy planning, use, and management across the Office of Secretary of Defense (OSD), the Joint Staff, Combatant Commands, Military Services, and Defense Agencies. Read more here.

The U.S. Navy Steps Up Biofuels Efforts

The U.S. Navy is embarking on a larger-scale replacement of petroleum fuels for day-to-day mission use as biofuels technologies advance, making biofuels more economic. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded four companies with contracts to produce a total of 170 million gallons of drop-in, military-compatible biofuels, with production starting in 2016. The companies agreed to supply biofuels at a price “well below” $4 per gallon. The Navy currently pays an average of $3.73 for petroleum-based fuel. These biofuels supplies are expected to generate 50-90% fewer greenhouse gas emissions. The biofuel purchases represent an important precursor to Navy’s goal to power the entire Navy carrier strike group, including its aviation assets, by alternative energy by 2016. According to Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, this goal, dubbed “Great Green Fleet”, is intended to be the start of Navy’s “new normal.”...

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