Wind Powers Air Force’s Cape Cleanup

While the fight rages over wind power development off Cape Cod, two big new wind turbines have gone into service on the Cape at the Massachusetts Military Reservation. There, the power produced by the turbines – and a third, already existing one – will pay for all the U.S. Air Force’s electric needs as it does groundwater remediation at the site. The 1.5-megawatt turbines will also offset emissions generated by fossil-fueled power plants, reducing the Air Force’s carbon footprint, the Air Force said.

“As Air Force missions expand and change over time, we will be integrating the full spectrum of energy considerations into our facility design and construction projects and into our mission operations,” Under Secretary of the Air Force Erin C. Conaton said in a statement.

wind turbines, U.S. Air Force, Cape Cod

image via U.S. Air Force

Conaton noted that the Air Force operates 85 on-base renewable energy projects at 43 installations, “playing a significant role in the national strategy to establish greater energy security via conservation and alternative energy use.” Citing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, the Air Force said it is the third-largest purchaser of green power in the federal government.

“The Air Force values and respects the natural resources placed in our trust; this is the environment where we live, train and operate,” Conaton said. “Every Airman must protect and conserve these resources for the benefit of present and future mission requirements and for the benefit of present and future generations.”

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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.