Army pushing energy efficiency closer to the front

The Army, which has put a lot of emphasis on renewable energy and reducing power consumption at its installations around the world, is also taking energy efficiency to its forward deployed bases. The service’s Communications-Electronics Research, Development and Engineering Center, or CERDEC, recently demonstrated its Energy Informed Operations (EIO) microgrid at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.

The goals: Cut fuel resupply by 25 percent, water resupply by 75 percent, and waste generation for back haul by 50 percent without compromising services.

The effort is driven not just by the monetary and environmental costs of energy use—the Army wants renewable sources to account for 25 percent of its energy use by 2025, eliminating about 20 trillion BTUs of fossil-fuel sources and saving about $300 million a year—but also by the increasing power demands of the battlefield. The Army in recent years has moved a lot of technology to forward-deployed bases. That gives soldiers more capabilities and support, but it also requires more power in areas where it’s not readily available.

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