Air Force Energy

By Dan Dupont / November 15, 2010 at 6:54 PM

The Air Force is touting its first-ever "renewable energy industry day," set for Irving, Texas, next month:

Air Force officials, including Mr. Terry A. Yonkers, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Logistics, and Major General Timothy A. Byers, the Air Force Civil Engineer, will be on hand to provide details about opportunities for renewable energy development. Particular focus will be paid to projects that may be developed through third-party investments on installations using Power Purchase Agreements or Enhanced Use Leases. The projects must generate electricity that is competitive or cheaper than current grid rates.

“This is a unique opportunity for companies who specialize in renewable energy to gain a clear view of the Air Force program for development of renewable energy use,” said Mr. Ken Gray, Energy Rates and Renewables Branch Chief at the Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency (AFCESA). “We are excited about the opportunity to learn more from industry and hear their suggestions on how to improve our efforts.”

With more than 40 renewable energy projects in operation, and dozens more planned, the Air Force continues to lead the federal government in reducing energy consumption and increasing supply. The Environmental Protection Agency recently recognized the Air Force for the seventh year in a row as the number one purchaser of green power in the federal government.

Details here.

Inside the Air Force recently noted the service is looking to a fuel savings as a way of meeting the Pentagon's "efficiencies" goals:

The service has been using the same safety margin supply of back-up fuel in their aircraft for the past 20 years, said Lt. Gen. Phillip Breedlove, deputy chief of staff for operations, plans and requirements. He said officials are examining if it is possible to reduce to amount of reserve fuel stored in aircraft in an effort to save money. It would save fuel in the long run because a lighter aircraft requires less gas to fly.

Breedlove said he would not go into specifics on strategies for finding efficiencies because they have not yet been approved by top Air Force officials. They are examining some of the most "basic things" that can be done to save money from normal operations, he said.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates has spearheaded a call for all of the services to find budget efficiencies.

"In this case, this is sort of a straight-forward conversation that we can have and the beauty is that we believe all of the efficiencies that we make we will be able to, as a nation, reinvest in those accounts that will be restrained by flat-line budgets," Breedlove told reporters during a Nov. 4 breakfast in Washington. "I think . . . we support the secretary's effort here. We can do some things like I mentioned smarter and we hope to be able to roll those savings back into procurement accounts, which will be pressured by flat-line budgets."