FORT HOOD, Texas (KXAN) — Fort Hood in Killeen will soon be home to the Army’s first hybrid renewable energy project, which includes on-site solar panels and off-site wind turbines. This is the largest renewable energy project ever undertaken by the Army.
The solar panels will provide 15 megawatts of energy, and the wind farm will supply 50 more megawatts. On-site, the project will consist of 63,000 solar panels over 132 acres of land, which is a mere fraction of Fort Hood’s land holding of about 215,000 acres.
The wind farm will have 20 turbines and will be placed out in Floyd County in North Texas. Wind farms are more common in north and west portions of the state due to a steadier, near-constant wind flow. This new farm will supply energy to a grid which can be accessed at Fort Hood. According to Climate Central, a normal 2-megawatt wind turbine has the ability to power about 400 homes for a year.
The solar panel and wind energy combined will supply about half of Fort Hood’s power, saving $168 million in projected energy costs over the next 30 years. Last year, the Army’s energy bill was about 1.3 billion dollars. Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy and Environment, said in January that she hopes money saved at Fort Hood will help the Army reroute funds to critical missions.
Apex Clean Energy is building both facilities, on a contract from the Defense Logistics Agency.