By U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Commanding General, Fort Bliss
The goal of Fort Bliss, the military and surrounding communities is to become champions of renewable energy in production generation, efficiency and conservation. One of the installation’s goals is to achieve Net Zero, or producing as much energy as consumed, in the near future.
The region is in a strategic location with wind, solar, biomass and geothermal resources. Initiatives are already ongoing in many areas to reach the goal of energy independence by 2015. An original investment of $56 million dollars is the beginning with a projected cost between $250 million and $300 million to reach Net Zero in 10 years. The annual savings estimate starts at $10-15 million then increases exponentially based on how and when we achieve Net Zero. In 2025 these savings could be as high as $90 million if we are truly Net Zero.
Becoming energy efficient, using renewable and alternative sources is the right thing to do. Fossil fuels will not always be available to provide for all of the nation’s energy needs. In addition, using renewable and alternative energy resources will result in a much cleaner and safer environment. Maybe not all, but some of these methods can be used in any area of the world. Military can lead the way in clean energy as they have in many other successful ventures.
Army leadership points to the “Five S’s” as metrics for success:
- Surety: preventing loss of access to power and fuel sources;
- Survivability: ensuring resilience in energy systems;
- Supply: accessing alternative and renewable energy sources available on installations;
- Sufficiency: providing adequate power for critical missions; and
- Sustainability: promoting support for the Army’s mission, its community, and the environment.
By adopting this long-term goal to produce solar farms, wind farms, a geothermal plant and a solid-waste co-partnership with surrounding communities, we will meet all the metrics and succeed in making the entire area a clean and safe place for generations to come.
For more information about achieving “Net Zero” listen to the Army Bloggers Roundtable with U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Dana J. H. Pittard, Deputy Chief of Staff, G3, United States Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe and U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Howard Bromberg, Commanding General, Fort Bliss for Wednesday, July 7 at 1130 ET.
The incoming and departing commanding generals at Fort Bliss – Maj. Gen. Pittard and Maj. Gen. Bromberg, respectively – will provide a current update on Fort Bliss’s comprehensive and path-breaking efforts to achieve energy independence and to become a “net-zero” installation -– that is, an installation which produces as much energy as it consumes.