Air Force recognized as top federal green power purchaser

  • Published
  • By Dr. Ronald B. Hartzer
  • Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency
For the third year in a row, the Air Force heads the Environmental Protection Agency's list of Top 10 federal government green power purchasers in the Green Power Partnership.

The list highlights EPA's federal Green Power Partners that have completed the largest annual voluntary purchases through Dec. 31, 2006.

The Air Force is being recognized for its voluntary purchase of 457,500 megawatt-hours of Green Power Partnership-qualified power, representing more than 4 percent of the service's annual electricity usage.

The purchases are a portion of the Air Force's 990,300 megawatt hours of total renewable purchases and on-base renewable production. The combined renewable purchases represent nearly 10 percent of its electricity consumption.

"Purchasing of green power has three significant benefits," said Jim Snook, Air Force renewable energy program manager. "It helps improve our environmental performance, increases demand for renewable resources, and it lowers our dependency on fossil fuels and imported energy sources."

"Green power" includes electricity partially or entirely generated from clean resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro. It is considered cleaner than conventional sources of electricity and has lower emissions of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Green power purchases accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.

The Air Force also was ranked No. 3 on the EPA's Green Power Partnership's Top 25 Partners, a group that includes government, private industry, trade associations, as well as colleges and universities.

The Air Force also attained EPA Green Power Leadership Club Member status in 2006. The Leadership Club honors Green Power Partners that have made an exemplary green power purchase that significantly exceeds the minimum Green Power Partnership purchase requirements.

"We are proud to be on the EPA's Top 25 list," Mr. Snook said. "The Air Force has been actively promoting the development and purchasing of renewable energy. Industry has seen that the Air Force is committed to renewable energy and they are bringing ideas and projects to us and making more purchasing opportunities available."

The Air Force is turning recommendations into reality through power-purchase initiatives that include a variety of unique geothermal, landfill gas, wind and solar power opportunities at its bases. Thirty-seven Air Force bases participated in a renewable power purchase program in fiscal year 2006, including three that purchased 100 percent of their electricity from renewables sources.

These initiatives are complemented by an on-base wind farm and photovoltaic system at Ascension Island, landfill gas power generation at Hill Air Force Base in Utah and wind generation at F.E. Warren AFB, Wyo., as well as installation of smaller renewable projects at other bases.

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