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Getting to Know the U.S. Army's Energy Initiatives Task Force

April 13, 2012

By The Energy Initiatives Task Force

PENTAGON, Washington D.C. -- The U.S. Army has a goal to meet of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025. To accomplish this, it must use every opportunity to be energy efficient and draw power from alternative and/or renewable energy sources. The scale of renewable energy production the Army needs in order to provide enhanced energy security is estimated to be around 2.1MWh (2.1 million or mega watt hours) of power annually.

To help meet this goal, in August 2011, the Secretary of the Army announced the creation of the Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF) at the GovEnergy Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio. The EITF was established to serve as the central managing office for the development of cost-effective large-scale (10 mega watts or greater) renewable energy projects on Army installations.

Part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy & Environment, the EITF is integral to the Army addressing rising energy security challenges, escalating fuel prices and stricter federal mandates.

The military makes-up 80 percent of the Federal Government's energy consumption with the Army using more than 20 percent of this total. The Army is: the largest facility energy consumer in the Federal Government; in fiscal year 2010 alone, the Army spent $1.2 billion on facility energy; and it spends nearly $4 billion dollars a year on all energy costs. Because the Army represents such a large portion of the Federal Government's energy usage, when the Army fails to meet its energy objectives it causes the entire Federal Government to miss its goals.

The EITF is helping the Army build energy resilience through the production of renewable energy. It is dedicated to streamlining existing business processes while leveraging private sector financing. This will facilitate developer investment in and construction of an economically viable, large-scale renewable energy infrastructure.

Through the EITF, the Army is conducting outreach activities to attract and engage industry, so it can foster strategic collaborations that support Army installation's energy needs. The Army's end state objectives for the EITF are to improve energy security, enhance energy security and ensure compliance with presidential mandates for energy consumption.

Established on 15 September 2011, the task force first held an industry forum at the Navy Yard's Admiral Gooding Center in Washing, D.C. for key Army and White House stakeholders to meet with other government agencies. More than 300 attendees and 240 separate private sector companies were represented at the 3 November event. Since then, the EITF has met individually with more than 40 companies to learn about their capabilities.

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