Solar Saves Vermont National Guard A Bundle

Each branch of the U.S. military – the country’s largest consumer of energy – is taking a unique approach to hitting an aggressive U.S. Defense Department target to get 25 percent of electricity from renewables by 2025. The Marines have taken to using portable solar power systems, and the Army has installed several renewable energy technologies, including geothermal heating and cooling systems, at its barracks.

The Vermont National Guard has recently completed the installation of a photovoltaic system at its South Burlington base. The 1.5-megawatt system will save the Vermont National Guard nearly $250,000 per year in energy costs, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 236 tons per year. That makes it one of the largest solar installations in Vermont, and one of the largest solar projects on any National Guard base in the country.

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image via Sen. Bernie Sanders

According to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Green Jobs and the New Economy Subcommittee, the Vermont National Guard base is one of the greenest in the country, and a model for other bases.

“I am very appreciative and proud of what General (Michael) Dubie and the Vermont National Guard have accomplished in constructing this solar project,” said Sanders. “The U.S. military is the largest consumer of energy in the world, and the Vermont National Guard is now playing a significant role in becoming a model for the Department of Defense as it moves toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

    • John Smith

      A green base is important, because people don’t seem to know that one of the biggest polluters in the USA are military bases.u00a0u00a0 They are huge energy consumers, they work with many exotic materials, fuels, toxic chemicals, and they generate a LOT of waste.u00a0 Its no surprise considering how much funding they receive and how many subcontractors they employ via tax dollars.