Wind turbines are no longer the enemy. And very soon the Department of Defense will run, in part, on wind power. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers just awarded 17 contracts to private companies to harvest wind power as the newest addition to its mix of renewable energy — a $7 billion investment in all.
The DoD is also developing geothermal, solar and biomass projects, reports CleanTechnica. But their embrace of wind power is a big win because it means they’ve overcome concern that turbines could interfere with radar systems. The past few years, apparently, have seen great strides in technology that helps the two coexist.
Here’s how we’ll benefit from the Army’s power purchase agreement (PPA):
We taxpayers pay no money up front for the renewable energy facilities, which are constructed by private sector companies. We simply provide the real estate in the form of D0D properties, and agree to purchase power from the facilities. As with other PPA’s the idea is to save money by getting renewable energy at a lower price than the grid mix.
For the military, the additional benefit is smoothing out fossil fuel price spikes that can wreak havoc with budgets for training and other essential operations.