The Department of Defense has for a long time recognized the power of renewable energy.
In fact, our military has invested heavily in renewable energy, not just because it makes economic sense, but because it makes national security sense.
Energy security indeed is national security. As a result, the military has led the charge in the United States and the world by finding ways to reduce its fuel consumption and invest heavily in technologies that increase fuel economies for our ships, planes and tanks.
Renewable technologies have even been deployed on the battlefield. The U.S. Army has provided its troops with solar battery packs that help them provide power at campsites and remote locations at a fraction of the cost of other dirty mobile generation. But perhaps most interestingly, these portable solar panels are lighter than other mobile power sources, giving the military the flexibility and agility that is needed on the battlefield. It is a lot easier to pack up a foldable solar panel than it is to load up a heavy diesel generator.
And this past week, the U.S. Army announced that 17 companies will be eligible to receive orders for wind energy, under an umbrella contract that is valued at $7 billion. The Pentagon announced that companies like Dominion Energy, Acciona and Duke Energy are eligible for the projects. Many of the companies on the list have wind development projects in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma is the home to four bases: Altus Air Force Base, Tinker AFB, Vance AFB and Fort Still. Obviously, these strategic military assets are also large consumers of power and play vibrant roles not only in protecting our country, but also in providing tremendous economic value to our communities and state. Importantly, all of these bases have also been phenomenal stewards and reputable members of the cities and towns where they are located. And now, the U.S. Army is again demonstrating its commitment to clean power.
This major announcement by the U.S. Army is a perfect example of two of Oklahoma’s greatest resources coming together to change the energy game. Indeed, the price environment and economic attributes of wind energy have never been better.
Amiss all of the bitter partisan bickering about how to reduce government spending, it seems our military has once again led the way – by looking to the market and taking advantage of renewable technology. It is compelling that the greatest military in the world has come to recognize the benefits of wind power. Perhaps there is a little something our policymakers can learn from the military. Always bet on America – American-made energy.