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04 Aug 14. How one Army base is getting to ‘net zero’ energy use. In an example of its push toward “net zero” energy environments, the Army is using a savings-based contracting program to install solar and wind power systems at a base in Puerto Rico while cutting usage rates and augmenting its water supply. The Army is adding two wind turbines at Fort Buchanan to supplement the power from 21,824 solar panels. The turbines could produce about 5 percent of the base’s current electric needs. The 5.5 megawatts produced by the photovoltaic panels could cover 60 percent. The initiatives are being performed under the Army Corps of Engineers’ Energy Savings Performance Contracting, or ESPC, program, a public/private effort that supplies money and expertise for projects to improve energy and water-use efficiencies. And, like energy and water efforts at other bases, they are part of the Army’s net zero goal of producing as much energy as it uses at its installations, the Army said in a release. The U.S. military, which is the largest single user of energy in the world, with an annual tab of at least $20bn, is becoming something of a leader in the green energy field. Earlier this year, the Army broke ground on what would be its largest solar array so far, at Fort Huachuca, Ariz. The other military services similarly has been pursuing solar and wind sources of energy. In all, the Defense Department has set a goal of using renewable resources for at least 25 percent of its energy by 2025. (Source: Defense Systems)