Pentagon to get solar panels in new federal clean energy push

Pentagon to get solar panels in new federal clean energy push

The Pentagon will have solar panels installed, the Defense Department says, as part of a multimillion-dollar effort to roughly double clean energy production and use at federal locations.

Brendan Owens, assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment, said in an interview that the installation will help ensure the Pentagon keeps power in case of cyberattacks or grid outages.

In addition to solar electricity, the Pentagon will have solar thermal panels and heat pumps installed to reduce its dependence on natural gas and oil.

The Pentagon building itself is a nationally registered historic landmark, which means the installation will have to adhere to certain visual standards.

The Pentagon is one of 31 locations benefiting from the program, which in total are expected to contribute about 27 megawatts of new clean energy capacity.

Naval installations in Washington State, Tennessee and Georgia are also getting energy upgrades, along with facilities for the Energy, Commerce and Transportation Departments. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Mauna Loa observatory in Hawaii, where key atmospheric CO2 measurements are collected, will receive solar panels and on-site battery storage. The facility lost power last year after a lava flow from the Mauna Loa volcano cut transmission lines and buried access roads.