DOD wants industry to invest $7B in alternative energy

The Defense Department wants private industry to spend big bucks on alternative-energy resources for Army installations and has created a team to complete the task, reports the Army News Service.

The new Energy Initiatives Task Force’s role is to persuade businesses to invest up to $7 billion in solar energy, wind power and other large-scale renewable-energy projects to be installed on military bases, according to an Oct. 18 panel at the 2011 Association of the United States Army Annual Meeting and Exposition.

In order to solicit the private capital, the Army must first be an attractive investment option, said Richard Kidd, the Army’s deputy assistant secretary for energy and sustainability. This can be accomplished through streamlined business processes, efforts to reduce risk, and improving the due diligence of projects, he explained.

“We can’t order the private sector to do business with us,” Kidd said.

Fort Bliss in Texas is a good model, the news service said. By partnering with El Paso Electric on renewable projects, the military post has saved $2.7 million annually on energy programs, and will soon be launching a solar facility and gas turbine.

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