Power Matters: Solar and National Security

You’ve chosen to install photovoltaic panels on your home or your business for the cost savings, to better control your electric bill, and to benefit the environment, but did you know that your choice helps fuel research and development of green energy for our armed forces?

Secretary of the United States Navy Ray Mabus

“Alternative energy saves lives,” says Secretary of the United States Navy Ray Mabus. “A foot patrol using small, light and packable solar panels to power their radios and GPSs instead of batteries could go for three weeks without a battery resupply, instead of every few days. Also, one company of Marines shed 700 pounds of batteries. It made them more agile and increased their potential range, but it also meant a dramatic cut in the need for resupply convoys and a cut in the number of Marine casualties guarding those convoys.”

Mabus, the 75th US Secretary of the Navy, recently visited Tempe to discuss Power Matters: Energy Security and the US Navy and Marine Corps, part of the Arizona State University’s Global Institute of Sustainability’s Wrigley Lecture Series.

“Alternative energy makes the Marines better warriors,” Mabus asserts. The Navy has invested heavily in solar technologies with entire battalions equipped with “LED lights for tents, and solar generators at forward operating bases. From infantry units, to sniper teams, to SpecialOps units, this equipment is now used by us all over the world.”

Responsible for 118,000 buildings and facilities covering over 500 million square feet of space at bases across the United States and the world, the Navy “are using solar, wind, and geothermal programs on many of those bases that are producing electricity today,” Mabus states. “We are working with pioneers on the technologies of smart-grids and micro-grids. Here in Arizona at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, we started installing solar panels as early as 2009.”

Choosing to install rooftop solar furthers the United States’ goals for energy conservation, energy security and national security. If it’s good enough for the Marines, give us a call today to start designing your custom solar installation.

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