U.S. Air Force leads DOD in green power

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AFNS) — The Air Force is one of the nation’s top pur­chasers of green pow­er, accord­ing to the U.S. Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency’s Top 25 list of Green Pow­er Part­ners released Jan. 31.

U.S. Air Force graphic/Corey Par­rish

The Air Force’s use of renew­able ener­gy ranks num­ber one in the Depart­ment of Defense, num­ber two in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment, and num­ber 15 among 1,300 Green Pow­er Part­ners includ­ing large cor­po­ra­tions and munic­i­pal­i­ties such as Dal­las and Hous­ton.

The EPA Green Pow­er Part­ner pro­gram only gives cred­it to renew­able ener­gy pro­duced at U.S. facil­i­ties built after 1997.

“If the Green Pow­er Part­ner pro­gram gave us cred­it for all the ‘old’ pow­er we pur­chase (pro­duced at facil­i­ties built before 1997) and the pow­er we pro­duce at instal­la­tions out­side the con­ti­nen­tal Unit­ed States, the Air Force would be num­ber one in the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment and num­ber eight in the coun­try,” said Ken Gray, the chief of the Rates and Renew­ables Branch at the Air Force Facil­i­ty Ener­gy Cen­ter at Tyn­dall Air Force Base, Fla.

Since becom­ing a Green Pow­er Part­ner in 2003, the Air Force has always appeared near the top of the fed­er­al list. More than six per­cent of all facil­i­ty ener­gy used by the Air Force comes from green pow­er sources, which is more than the fed­er­al­ly man­dat­ed ener­gy goal of five per­cent by 2010 as defined under the Envi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Act of 2005. In 2011, for exam­ple, the Air Force used 265 mil­lion kilo­watt-hours of renew­able ener­gy, an increase of 15 mil­lion kilo­watt-hours from the pre­vi­ous year.

“We’ve devel­oped a strat­e­gy we’re call­ing the Air Force Renew­able Ener­gy Game Plan in which we plan to add 33 renew­able ener­gy projects on our instal­la­tions dur­ing the next five years,” Gray said. “The plan would pro­vide as much as 27 per­cent of the total Air Force elec­tric demand in the form of renew­able ener­gy and far exceed the fed­er­al man­date of 16 per­cent renew­able ener­gy use by fis­cal year 2016.”

The Air Force more than dou­bled its num­ber of renew­able ener­gy projects in the past year. There are 131 projects in oper­a­tion on 56 bases and an addi­tion­al 50 are under con­struc­tion. Projects include solar pho­to­volta­ic, solar ther­mal, geot­her­mal in the form of ground source heat pumps, wind, day­light­ing and land­fill gas. The Air Force is also explor­ing use of waste-to-ener­gy at more than 20 bases iden­ti­fied as ide­al loca­tions dur­ing oppor­tu­ni­ty assess­ments in 2011.

U.S. Air Force

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