Defense Department Seeks Clean Energy Ideas

Continuing a press to rapidly evolve its energy use, the U.S. military is looking for proposals for demonstration projects in areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency and energy management.

The proposals are sought by the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD) demonstration and validation program for environmental and energy technologies. The program notes that DOD spends around $4 billion every year on powering and fueling more than 500 military installations – including half a million buildings and 160,000 nontactical vehicles – around the world.

U.S. military renewable energy projects

image via U.S. Marine Corps/Gunnery Sgt. William Price

The demonstration projects are broadly aimed at reducing military energy use and intensity; increasing onsite renewable energy generation; and improving energy security. With this RFP, pre-proposals are due by March 24 in five distinct topic areas: microgrids and energy storage; “innovative yet technically mature” energy-generation systems including but not limited to geothermal, waste to energy, biomass and solar; component technologies for building energy efficiency, focusing on things such HVAC, windows, roofs, building envelopes, lighting and waste heat recovery; tools and processes that building managers can use in the design of new buildings and in major retrofits that will make the buildings more energy efficient.

The ESTCP gave no level of funding available for the projects. Instead, the program said, “costs should be appropriate and traceable to the level of effort required to execute the project.”

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

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