The U.S. military has been actively deploying green-power systems, including wind power, PV power, and energy storage devices, as an auxiliary power supply in case of power disruption caused by extreme weather or accidents.
According to a report released by the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) and energy consulting firm Coverage Strategies, the U.S. military has been installing wind turbines, PV power generators, batteries, diesel-oil generators, and micro grids near military bases, in order to assure power supply and operation of major military equipment during flood, storm, or even hacking of central grids by foreign countries.
Wilson Rickerson, spokesman of Converge Strategies, pointed out that many military bases have been installing those green-power facilities via cooperation with local developers and power companies, generating power which supply the needs of not only the bases but also neighboring enterprises and residents.
The naval construction center in Gulfport, Mississippi, for instance, is furnished with 29,000 solar panels, diesel-oil generators, and rechargeable batteries, as emergent power supply during power outage. On top of PV power devices, batteries, and natural gas- and diesel oil-fired generators, the U.S. marine aviation station in Miramar, California, has two generators fired by marsh gas from landfills, enabling the station to maintain power supply for three weeks during power outage and achieve considerable saving in power bill. An independent power system, consisting of wind turbine, diesel oil generator, batteries, and micro-grid, has enabled the Air National Guard base in Otis, Massachusetts, to keep power supply for 120 hours during power outage.
The report encourages more cities joining hands with military bases in developing green power, which, Rickerson said, can be conducive to the development of local economies and communities, creating job vacancies and alleviating environmental pollution.
Michael McGhee, executive director of Army Office of Energy Initiative, noted that PV power devices can help military bases achieve energy independence, enhancing their capability in withstanding the onslaught of natural disasters and actual military actions, on top of high cost effectiveness for power supply. The U.S. military started to deploy green-energy facilities in 2011, when the aeronautics center and missile defense command of the Redstone Arsenal base in Alabama were paralyzed following impact of tornado on local grid.
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(The first photo is wind turbines at the Air National Guard base in Otis, Massachusetts, courtesy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/written by Daisy Chuang)