Slideshow: Powering a Far-flung Military

The U.S. military, one of the world's most energy-hungry organizations, is tackling the mammoth task of ensuring its future security by using renewable energy sources

Photo: Nadine Y. Barclay/U.S. Air Force

SOLAR SQUADRON

The U.S. military generates or buys 11.9 percent of its electricity from renewable-energy sources. Some of it comes from this 14-megawatt photovoltaic array at Nellis Air Force Base, in Nevada. The need to power remotely located bases, along with concerns about supply disruptions and high electricity bills, have led the armed services to generate some of their energy on-site.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Fred Prouser/Reuters

TAPPING THE EARTH

A 270-MW geothermal power plant at the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, in Southern California, earns the Navy about US $14.7 million a year in royalties and other payments from the operating company that owns and runs the plant.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Adrian DeNardo/U.S. Air Force

FUTURE FUELS

To shield the Air Force from uncertainty regarding the future cost and availability of jet fuel, a synthetic-fuel research program aims to ensure that by 2016 half of the service’s domestically consumed jet fuel is synthetic. But questions remain about the cost of sequestering the carbon dioxide emitted during synthetic-fuel production.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: U.S. Navy

CATCHING WAVES

A prototype buoy made by Ocean Power Technologies, based in Pennington, N. J., harvests energy from waves at a Marine Corps base at Kaneohe Bay, in Hawaii.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Bernie Ernst/U.S. Air Force

PURCHASING POWER

The Air Force has become the third largest purchaser of green power in the United States, at almost 900 million kilowatt-hours a year, beat only by Intel and PepsiCo. These wind turbines at F.E. Warren Air Force Base, in Wyoming, are expected to save the service about $3 million over 20 years.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Conserval Engineering

GREENER BOOT PRINT

This past spring, the Army installed 50 solar-collecting panels made by Conserval Engineering, based in Toronto, on the sides of buildings at Fort Drum, in New York state. Fans draw the heat into an air cavity between the panel and the building, and that air warms the building.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: U.S. Navy

ISLANDING

The Navy is planning an ocean thermal-energy conversion (OTEC) system for a base on Diego Garcia, an atoll in the British Indian Ocean Territory. The system will generate electricity and potable water using the temperature difference between warm surface water and cold water deep in the ocean.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Lee H. Saunders/U.S. Navy

ON THE ROOF

A $500 000 building-integrated photovoltaic system was installed this year on the roof of a building that houses a flight simulator at Naval Base Coronado, near San Diego, Calif. The thin-filmsolar system is expected to produce 79 000 kWh each year and to pay for itself in 22 years.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Kathleen T. Rhem

CONTROVERSIAL BUT CLEAN

At Guantánamo Bay, four 950-kW wind turbines are part of a hybrid wind-diesel generator plant on a Navy base. The base does not buy any electricity or fuel from Cuba and must supply all of its own energy.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

Photo: Aberdeen Proving Ground/U.S. Army

WASTE NOT…

A waste-to-energy plant at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, Md., processes about 325 tons of solid waste a day. It supplies steam to buildings for heat and warm water.

For more on the military's use of alternate energies, see A Less Well-Oiled War Machine

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