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Army ramping up renewable energy program

Aug. 15, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Amanda Simpson-Executive Director of Army Energy I
Amanda R. Simpson, executive director of the Army Energy Initiatives Task Force, expects to have 25 projects underway within the next year. Thirteen already are. (Alan Lessig/Staff)

The Army is pushing to meet its ambitious renewable energy goals, forming a permanent office to help identify, award and complete renewable energy projects across the country.

Starting Oct. 1 the Energy Initiatives Task Force formed in 2011 will become the Army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, tasked with helping the service reach its goal of 1 gigawatt of renewable energy generation by 2025, enough to power the city of Orlando.

Amanda Simpson, the current executive director of the EITF, will head the new office and work to ramp up Army renewable energy activities by identifying more possible projects and finding ways to cut down acquisition times for projects already in the pipeline.

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She said the EITF has about 13 projects already in various stages of development and hopes to add another 12 within the next year.

“We’re hitting our stride and that’s what I was brought here to do,” Simpson said. “And because of that the task force is being transitioned to an enduring office.”

Some of the projects in development include:

■18 megawatts of solar power at Fort Huachuca in Arizona.

■50 megawatts of biodiesel at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii

■90 megawatts of solar power at Fort Stewart, Georgia.

She said the projects are funded using a variety of financing tools that do not require taxpayer dollars but instead rely on purchasing agreements that keep solar power costs at parity with traditional sources.

“What type of premium are these installations paying to bring energy security through renewables? And the answer is nothing,” Simpson said. “We are not spending any appropriated dollars.”

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