Saving Energy, saving money , becoming a Green Citizen. Ed Begley? HGTV Green House? No – the Army Reserve! Before you scoff, before you decide I’ve definitely lost the few marbles still rattling around my skull – give me a minute of your time to show you what I’m talking about.
From Defense.gov news – an report of the groundbreaking for a new solar micro grid at Fort Hunter Liggett in California. The location is perfect for a solar array – 292 days of sunshine means that the new facility will have plenty of “fuel” to work! This installation of panels is also a “twofer”. The panel array is being set up over an existing parking lot and shades the cars parked underneath it, absorbing all that sunlight and generating power. The personnel who need to park their cars in the area won’t return to that baking hot car, the seat you can’t sit in and the steering wheel that’s too hot to handle – and think of how much gas they’ll save by not needing to let the air conditioning run to cool the vehicle down enough to drive home. The solar array “shade cover” will use all that solar heat and light to generate power for part of the Army Reserve post and if they find that it works well enough, plans are to build phase two and three – this Army Reserve post could actually be a “net zero energy installation”, producing their own energy in a sustainable way.
Saving that much energy isn’t just good for the Reserves – it’s good for the taxpayer! In the long run (and that’s what we need to look at, not just the immediate savings, but savings over the life of the facility) we as taxpayers will save money, the facility won’t need to rely on fossil fuels for power, emissions will be cut (if you don’t burn it, no smoke! No particulates!) and we conserve the limited resource of oil, or coal. No need to build another power plant – if more companies did something like this, we could cut down on the amount of power they need to buy from the power plant, reduce the strain on those plants – allowing the energy to be used by those who can’t rely on such a system.
As Dorothy Robyn, deputy undersecretary of defense for installations and environment said in a hearing on the Hill – renewable energy investments could save Billions of dollars. Billions. These are our tax dollars that could be saved, while conserving energy and preventing more pollution.
Think of those acres of parking lots that just bake in the sun, in the desert states – what do you think? Could they be a source of power as well? Sunlight is still free – the solar cells can be built right here in the US providing new jobs in an industry poised to grow.
For more ideas, and more information about the environment, Clean Air, Clean Water – please go to Mom’s Clean Air Force web site.