U.S. Defense Department A Cleantech Hotbed

The idea of a fighting force showing cleantech savvy seems to make heads spin (if the comments to this story are any indication), but for better or for worse the U.S. military might just be our best proving ground for new technologies. And a whole bunch more are about to get play, with the Department of Defense (DOD) announcing 27 new projects that will be demoed in the current fiscal year as part of the Installation Energy Test Bed initiative.

The Pentagon said some 575 proposals were “submitted by private firms, universities and federal organizations,” and that a competitive process yielded the winners in five areas: smart microgrids and energy storage; component technologies for building energy efficiency; building energy management and control technologies; tools and processes for design, assessment and decision-making associated with energy use and management; and technologies for renewable energy generation.

cogenra defense department

image via Cogenra

One of the lucky few in this DOD derby was Cogenra Solar, which copped a $2 million contract to deliver hot water and electricity at two military sites using its technology that combines photovoltaic and solar thermal technologies. The company said it will deploy a 242-kilowatt (kW) rooftop array at the Port Hueneme Naval Base in Ventura County and a 121-kW system at the Army Parks Reserve Forces Training Area in Dublin.

Cogenra says its systems capture “up to 75 percent of the sun’s delivered energy” by turning waste heat from PV generation into hot water. That’ll be tested at the military sites and assuming things go as planned, it appears there could be more work for the company. In addition to doing the installations, “the project scope includes development of design tools in order to facilitate rapid adoption of solar cogeneration on other DOD sites,” Cogenra said.

Sports columnist, newspaper desk guy, website managing editor, wine-industry PR specialist, freelance writer—Pete Danko’s career in media has covered a lot of terrain. The constant along the way has been a fierce dedication to knowing the story and getting it right. Danko's work has appeared in Wired, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.

    • http://vato21stcentury.blogspot.com/ Jim S.

      Anyone carrying the tea buckets against Green Growth and Alternatives Energy are just doing the special interests bidding and to lazy to get actual Facts, same they’ve done for some forty years. We started down that road back then and allowed it to be blocked, then it was meme’s like energy is cheap, can’t use that anymore, now it’s mostly denial of what we’ve been doing to the environment all these decades, our environment! It’s been blocking the implementation of another of the once envied by all industries into a once vibrant economy and growth of. Those who envied have now taken the lead as well as those innovations we developed and greatly improved on and are still doing so. They also now have the needed innovative skilled experienced workforce of trades workers to continue growing while we only follow and fall rapidly because of the non investments from that top down capitalism, which ruined all we had, while everyone else moves forward!!