Fort Hood uses wind power to protect mission readiness

Over the last few years, we’ve seen an increasing number of Fortune 500 companies and cities power more of their operations using wind energy. They often cite wind’s low-cost, price stability and pollution-free qualities as driving factors.

Now, a new player has entered the wind market: the U.S. Army.

The U.S. Army has purchased output from both a solar and wind plant in Texas to power about 50 percent of the operations at Fort Hood. The base is the U.S. military’s largest active-duty armored post, impacting more than 140,000 jobs.

Boosting security was one of the main reasons for the move.

“We need to be autonomous,” said Chris Haug, a Fort Hood spokesman. “If the unfortunate thing happened and we were under attack or someone attacked our power grid, you’d certainly want Fort Hood to be able to respond.”

“Clean and reliable renewable energy can help make our military bases stronger, more robust, and more adaptable to the threats of a changing world,” said Mark Goodwin, president and CEO of Apex, which developed the wind and solar installations. “The vision shown here will be increasingly recognized as other bases and branches of our military seek to replicate the economic performance and energy security provided by this project.”

Besides increasing security, Fort Hood’s move toward renewable energy will also save taxpayers money– $168 million over the projects’ lifespans.

Fort Hood’s news comes as 15 retired generals and admirals released a report calling clean energy a national security issue.

The analysis, done by the CNA Military Advisory Board, finds:

The transition to advanced energy (which includes renewables) can provide the U.S. military with additional options to improve mission effectiveness, reliability, and cost mitigation… DOD installations, at home and abroad, require secure and reliable power to perform front-line, real-time military operations around the world. Advanced energy provides a means for installations to ensure that disruptions in commercial power supplies will have less impacts on their missions, as well as to reduce costs through efficiency and self-generation.

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