Air Force ranks No. 1 for renewable energy use|
by Master Sgt. Michael A. Ward
Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency
1/26/2006 - TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFPN) -- The Air Force purchased more renewable energy than any other member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s green power partnership last year, according to a report released Jan. 24 by the EPA.
The partnership, which is sponsored by the EPA, consists of U.S. companies and organizations that purchase significant amounts of renewable energy. This is the second year in a row the Air Force has topped the list.
Last year, the Air Force purchased 1,066,397 megawatt hours of renewable energy. That represents 11 percent of all electrical usage by the Air Force in 2005.
Besides being the biggest purchaser in the green power partnership, the Air Force is also the leading purchaser of renewable energy in the federal government, accounting for nearly 50 percent of all green power purchases by the federal government.
“We’ve been very aggressive in pursuing renewable energy because it makes economic sense,” said Jim Snook, Air Force renewable energy program manager. “Industry has seen that we are committed to renewable energy and they are bringing ideas and projects to us and making more renewable purchasing opportunities available,”
Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, and Fairchild AFB, Wash., now receive 100 percent of their energy from wind or other renewable power sources provided by local utility companies. The Air Force also has begun generating its own renewable power and operates a 2.4-megawatt wind farm on Ascension Island and a 1.3-megawatt wind farm at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo. Wind farms are also being considered at several other bases.
While wind power is the largest contributor so far in the Air Force’s renewable energy plan, the portfolio also includes the use of biomass at Hill AFB, Utah and the installation of more than 3,500 ground source heat pumps at various installations. Energy management officials said they are also trying to increase the use of solar energy, which in the past was considered cost prohibitive.
“New technologies have significantly reduced the price of renewables so that in many areas, it’s competitive with commercial power,” said Jerry Doddington, chief of the Air Force energy management team. “The key for companies is to have a customer, and it’s our plan to be a customer.”
The complete green power partnership ranking is available at the EPA Web site.