U.S. Army creates task force for large-scale renewable projects
Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh announced the establishment of the Energy Initiatives Office Task Force at the GovEnergy Conference in Cincinnati.
The Energy Initiatives Office, or EIO, Task Force is part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, and will serve as the central managing office for the development of large-scale Army renewable energy projects. The EIO Task Force will be fully operational by Sept. 15.
The new EIO Task Force is integral to the Army addressing rising energy security challenges, escalating fuel prices and stricter federal mandates.
"The Energy Initiatives Office Task Force will help the Army build resilience through renewable energy while streamlining our business practices so developers can invest in and build an economically viable, large-scale renewable energy infrastructure," McHugh said. "To meet a goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025, the Army must use every opportunity to be energy efficient and draw power from alternative and/or renewable energy sources," he said.
The scale of renewable energy production the Army needs in order to provide enhanced energy security is estimated to require investment up to $7.1 billion over the next 10 years. This level of investment is expected to generate 2.1 million megawatt hours of power annually for the Army.
The EIO Task Force will work within the Army to streamline existing acquisition processes and leverage industry for the execution of large-scale renewable and alternative energy projects on Army installations. Army installations currently are pursuing renewable energy infrastructure, but often lack needed expertise.
The EIO Task Force will fill this expertise gap and provide resources focused on working with the private sector to execute large-scale renewable energy projects. This is expected to result in increased interest by project developers and improved financial options for the Army.
"Addressing our energy security needs is operationally necessary, fiscally prudent and vital to mission accomplishment," McHugh said.
"The Army must leverage opportunities in renewable energy, which will enhance energy security," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment.
Through the EIO Task Force, the Army is planning to conduct an aggressive outreach effort to attract and engage private industry to foster strategic and financial collaboration in support of the Army's installation energy needs.