This Army Live Blog Post was written by the Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Armyfor Installations, Energy and Environment (ASA IE&E).
Energy security is a top priority for Army leadership. It’s operationally necessary, it’s fiscally prudent and its mission essential for us to enhance our energy security to make sure that we have the energy we need to perform our primary mission for the United States. This is why this past September 15, the Secretary of the Army established the Energy Initiatives Task Force (EITF). The EITF will serve as the central managing office for collaboration with the private sector to invest in cost-effective large-scale renewable energy projects. It will help the Army meet its goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025.
In fact, did you know that the Army manages more than 15 million acres of land within the U.S. and currently spends nearly $4 billion a year on energy? These statistics highlight the fact that because the Army has valuable land assets in prime renewable energy markets. This is why I smiled when I heard the tagline for the EITF was We’ve Got the LAND and the DEMAND.
The EITF is already working with installations that have large-scale renewable energy projects underway, including several at Fort Bliss, Fort Irwin, Fort Drum, Yuma Proving Ground, and Watervliet – but we need more. As you might not know, the Army overall has more than 125 renewable energy projects on Army installations.These projects will benefit our Soldiers and communities through assured access to energy support for training activities and increased quality of life.
One of the first steps the EITF is taking to work with the private sector is by hosting an industry summit on November 3 at the Navy Yard’s Admiral Gooding Center in Washington, D.C. This summit will give attendees the opportunity to learn more about the EITF and its path forward to working with them. I’m pleased that some of the guest speakers include: Ms. Nancy Sutley who is Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality; Mr. Richard G. Kidd IV who is deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy & Sustainability); and Mr. Lushetsky who is the Executive Director of the EITF.
We will be talking with industry about how the EITF is dedicated to the planning and execution of cost-effective large-scale renewable energy projects through a process that is clear, consistent and transparent. This process will provide the private sector with a consistent environment to engage with the Army, which will allow the EITF projects to maximize return on investment for both the Army and industry. The Army is dedicated to communicating frequently with industry on its strategy for competitive renewable energy projects. The EITF also will develop a forum for industry to comment on task force activities and provide summaries on industry capabilities.
In terms of working with installations, the EITF will actively work with them to screen and provide feedback on renewable energy project proposals that are based on an enterprise-wide approach. The EITF’s dedicated technical, business and acquisition expertise will help to speed overall project development timelines and ensure the highest and best value to the Army.
By introducing industry to the EITF, the Army begins the process of leveraging private sector investment to help create large-scale renewable energy projects on our installations. The Army’s development of large-scale renewable energy projects will optimize available resources, reduce fossil fuel consumption and enhance energy security. We want this summit to set the stage for a successful, mutually beneficial relationship that will move us toward a more energy secured Army.
For more information, visit www.armyeitf.com.