Environmental News: Media Center
WASHINGTON (November 20, 2013) – A new primer jointly developed by the Department of Defense and the Natural Resources Defense Council addresses for the first time core issues for developing renewable energy sources on or around military ranges, airspace, and installations.
The guidelines, which are designed to better screen solar and wind projects and avoid potential conflicts with military operations or sensitive environmental areas, were shared with nearly 100 renewable energy executives, military leaders and others on a Webinar on Tuesday.
It also is available at: http://www.acq.osd.mil/dodsc/library/Siting_Renewable_Energy_Primer_5SEP13_FINAL_WEB.pdf
The DoD plans to get 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025. Developing more renewable energy sources on federal lands also is a key part of President Obama’s climate change initiative.
“At the Department of Defense we know how important energy security is to national security, and we know that renewable energy is essential to our energy security,” said Frank DiGiovanni, director, Force Readiness and Training at the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness).
“Our highest priority is military readiness and we’re working hard to mitigate or avoid any potential mission impacts,” he said. “We’re also committed to reducing uncertainty for the renewable energy industry through early engagement and outreach. This document gives clear direction for the many intersecting interests involved in developing solar, wind and other renewables on and around military ranges, airspace, and installations.”
“Renewable energy, especially in the U.S. Southwest, is being sited in the vast open spaces that may be owned, leased or used by the DoD for training and testing operations,” said Kit Kennedy, NRDC clean energy counsel.
“In order to produce truly sustainable solutions and to scale up renewable energy quickly, it’s crucial that these projects are developed smart from the start so that we achieve the twin goals of compatibility with the military mission and environmental protections,” she said.
The new renewables siting considerations were developed in concert with the Renewable Energy and Defense (READ) Database, a GIS tool NRDC created that combines geospatial data on DoD installations, military flight training routes, radar and other information, along with data on environmentally sensitive areas, national monuments and other protected lands.
Read more on this in Kit Kennedy’s blog: http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/kkennedy/siting_renewable_energy_smart.html