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Energy

Renewable Energy Projects Planned For Military Bases

by Glenn Hess
August 13, 2012 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 90, ISSUE 33

The Obama Administration is giving renewable energy companies access to 16 million acres of federal land that was previously set aside for the military. An agreement announced on Aug. 6 by the Departments of Defense and of the Interior encourages development of solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass energy resources on or near military installations across the U.S. The Pentagon has been pursuing the development of renewable energy both to improve the energy security of its bases and to reduce its $4 billion-per-year utility bill. Military installations now depend almost entirely on the civilian grid for their electricity. “Developing renewable energy is the right thing to do for national security as well as for the environment and our economy,” says Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta. Each of the military branches has committed to building 1 gigawatt of renewable energy on or near its bases by 2025. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) says the agreement is “a clear recognition that renewable energy can contribute greatly to the energy security of our military facilities.”

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