US Army Goes Solar: 500 MW Solar Thermal Power Plant to be Built at Fort Irwin

solar thermal power plant nevada photo

photo: azsustainably

Most people probably don't think of the US Army as being on the forefront of the green movement, and while some military vehicles do guzzle gas more quickly than a new recruit learns to say 'sir, yes, sir', the Army is taking steps to reduce its energy usage. In fact in a press release outlining several new initiatives, Army goes so far to say that it wants to be a "model for the military and the nation" in terms of energy efficiency. Here are some of the Army's latest green plans:Huge Solar Thermal Power Plant
The Army will be joining with an unnamed private sector partner to build a 500 MW solar thermal power plant at Fort Irwin, California. The plant will supply both power to the public electric grid as well as the base itself. The Army is touting the project as providing greater energy security in the event of a disruption to the power supply at large.

No word on what variety of solar thermal technology will be used, cost to build, or when this solar behemoth will come online.

Other Green Efforts
The solar thermal power plant is the obvious big news, but three other green projects were announced concurrently:

1) The Army is pursuing the purchase of 4,000 small Neighborhood Electric Vehicles to replace gasoline-powered vehicles traditionally used by maintenance and operations staff for use on its posts.

2) Six Army posts have been selected as sites for biomass to fuel demonstrations through a contract with the DLA. Also the Army is working with the private sector and with the Navy to develop a major geo thermal project at Hawthorne Army Depot, Nev., with the capability of producing 30 megawatts of clean power.

3) The Army will enter into a pilot energy savings performance contract with the private sector on an installation to serve as a model for monitoring and reducing energy consumption. The savings will be shared by the Army and the civilian contractor.

:: News Service
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