When you think of the Marine Corps, the word ‘renewable’ probably isn’t the first thing to pop into your head. However, in fiscal year 2015, Marine Corps installations consumed about 5 percent of their electricity from renewable sources – enough megawatt hours (MWH) to power more than 10,000 homes for a whole year. This electricity comes from various sources, and solar power is the most visible – looks like the sun is good for more than just a tan!
The Marine Corps is a leader in solar energy in the Department of Defense, and its reasons for developing and using it go far beyond being ‘green’ – it’s about the mission. On base and in the battlefield, solar energy can increase overall readiness and mission effectiveness, leading to a safer, less-volatile operating environment for Marines.
On base: Solar energy helps to increase installation energy security and resiliency, while bolstering energy independence – a level of operational proficiency where energy is no longer a significant requirement that adversaries can exploit – by decreasing the Corps’ reliance on a vulnerable electric grid. If energy from a solar field can support a base when the local grid goes down, it will enable that base to continue to function.
In the battlefield: Solar technology can increase operational reach and flexibility for Marines, while lessening the demand for fuel. This keeps our Marines safer by reducing the need for dangerous refueling convoys, and offering an alternative form of energy to keep crucial communications equipment and generators alive if fuel runs out.
As the Marine Corps continues to develop and implement more renewable energy sources and technology, solar energy will increasingly help support the mission on installations and power the Warfighter in the battlefield – you’re on your own for the tan.
Solar power may reduce energy bills for the Marine Corps, but what about your personal energy expenses? The Personal Financial Management Program offers workshops and seminars on more than twenty money management topics. To learn more and find a workshop near you, click here.
We all know that America declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776, but did you know that the Marine Corps is working to increase its energy independence from the electric grid?
For many people summer not only brings long, sun-filled days, but also energy costs that seem to rise as quickly as the temperature. Check out these tips for some easy ways to reduce your energy use.
Saving fuel on base will not only help to conserve resources and reduce carbon emissions, but also lead to greater effectiveness in the battlefield.