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For years, the Department of Defense and all branches of the military have been strategically incorporating renewable energy into their operations. Recent success stories regarding the use of lighter and less explosive power sources, such as solar in Afghanistan, are further building the profile of renewables as a tool in our national security strategy. 

On August 10, 2011, the Army announced that it will establish an Energy Initiatives Office (EIO) Task Force by September 15. The EIO Task Force will be part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, and will serve as the central managing office for the development of large-scale Army renewable energy projects.

In discussing the Task Force, John M. McHugh, Secretary of the Army, stated that “To meet a goal of 25 percent renewable energy by 2025, the Army must use every opportunity to be energy efficient and draw power from alternative and/or renewable energy sources.” In pursuit of this mission, the Task Force will "streamlin[e] our business practices so developers can invest in and build an economically viable, large-scale renewable energy infrastructure,” said McHugh.

The scale of renewable energy production the Army needs in order to provide enhanced energy security is estimated to require investment up to $7.1 billion over the next 10 years. This level of investment is expected to generate 2.1 million megawatt hours of power annually for the Army.

In short, the EIO Task Force will streamline existing acquisition processes most likely in the pursuit of public-private partnerships whereby private industry executes large-scale renewable and alternative energy projects on Army installations. These partnerships will help the Army to overcome its lack of expertise in pursuing renewable energy infrastructure.

Through the EIO Task Force, the Army is planning to conduct an aggressive outreach effort to attract and engage private industry to foster strategic and financial collaboration in support of the Army’s installation energy needs.

As a leading energy law firm, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney is extensively experienced in providing strategic, transactional, corporate and legal advice to the energy and utility sector, and this experience extends to matters concerning power generators, renewable energy companies and utility providers. In addition to serving the broad legal needs of traditional electric, solar, wind, water, natural gas telecommunications and wireless clients, we have worked with companies in many different industries on transactional matters, energy efficiency, deregulation and more.

Buchanan's Federal Government Relations team has extensive operational experience across a broad spectrum of defense-related capabilities. Members have first-hand experience with global trends in scientific, technological, economic, socio-political and military security fields. We have secured Department of Defense (DoD) funding and advised on bioterrorism and security-related information technology initiatives. We have also lobbied on behalf of defense contractors involved in the manufacturing of submarine and nuclear reactor components, artillery systems and military personnel equipment. Members of our government relations team currently maintain or are eligible for top secret clearances.

Our extensive government relations experience also encompasses work with local, regional, state, and federal agencies. Buchanan attorneys and government relations professionals have served in a wide variety of government positions, counting among our ranks current and former members of the military, as well as former cabinet officials and commissioners of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC).