As the climate warms, increasingly severe storms threaten homes and military bases. And with more extreme weather comes the risk of power outages.
“Local grids can go down,” says retired Maj. Gen. Rick Devereaux, the former director of operational planning, policy and strategy for the U.S. Air Force. “So the military is moving towards more green or sustainable energy sources on its bases – whether that be wind or solar, geothermal power, in some cases, biofuels.”
For example, at Fort Hood in Texas, solar panels and wind turbines provide about 40% of the base’s electricity. The on-site solar farm is designed to eventually function as a microgrid, independently providing the base with power if regional electricity goes out.
“The steps are being taken to both plan for the impacts of climate change and to move towards more resilient renewable clean energy sources,” Devereaux says. “Because military planners don’t have the luxury of playing politics on the issue. They know that they have to do what’s required to ensure our country is kept secure and safe.”
Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.