Brian Peteritas is a GOVERNING contributor.E-mail: email@example.com
Having bases that are completely energy independent will allow the U.S. Army greater security during attacks and natural disasters. The Denver Post reports that Fort Carson in Colorado may be one of the first to achieve that designation. The base has begun a “net zero” project to reduce its energy demands 30 percent by 2015 and produce all of its own energy by 2020. To accomplish the task several projects have been started, including a $7 million smart grid project that will power critical operation systems, $900,000 to retrofit and replace lighting systems, solar panels, electric trucks, and a new high-efficiency cooling system. The Army has also contracted with an energy engineering company to find ways to cut energy use and pay them out of the savings they create. The base is also testing a bioenergy system that transforms wood chips into electricity using a Ford auto engine which could be modified and used to power forward operating bases in places where troops are deployed.