The U.S. military is readjusting its approach to energy consumption. In order to reduce the armed forces' annual energy bill of $21 billion, the Army, Navy and Marines are all working to incorporate solar and wind power, along with other conservation measures, into their operations.
This new approach means that the military could save money as well as limit its exposure to attacks and sabotage by reducing the amount of fuel it ships to bases throughout the world. Approximately one out of every 24 fuel distribution trucks was attacked and destroyed in Iraq during the war.
The federal government has set the goal of having at least 25 percent of the military operating on renewable energy by 2025.
Stateside bases also stand to benefit strategically from the initiative. Renewable energy would increase security by reducing dependencies on commercial electric grids, which could be targeted by enemy forces or impaired by adverse weather conditions. More than $7 billion in costs were incurred in 2012 when stateside military bases endured 87 power outages.
Presently, a Chattanooga-based energy company is positioned to reap the most benefits from the policy changes. The Tennessee Valley Infrastructure Group (TVIG), a wind and solar energy developer, has already constructed the largest wind power installation at a military post in Texas.
"[TVIG is] uniquely positioned as a company with a long history of wind and, more recently, solar installations around the globe," Rich Jordan, the company's director of business development, tells the Times Free Press. "We are also headed by a disabled veteran and qualify as a small business — two categories the military is trying to award more contracts to for its work."