Administration unveils new energy security plans

Unlike many of the president’s energy policies, which have come under attack from the GOP amid soaring gas prices, Republicans and Democrats in Congress support improving energy security.

“These new steps build on President Obama’s unwavering commitment to energy security for America’s warfighters, and to a sustained, comprehensive strategy to ensure a secure energy future for all Americans,” the White House said in a statement.

The administration said Wednesday that the Army will open a 30,000-square-foot lab in Michigan tasked with developing new technologies for combat vehicles.

The lab, known as the Ground Systems Power and Energy Lab (GSPEL), will launch a new program called the “Army Green Warrior Convoy,” which will test vehicle technologies like alternative fuels and advanced batteries.

“The Army’s best and brightest ground vehicle research scientists, engineers and technicians combined with GSPEL’s unique facilities will enable the Army to innovate tomorrow’s energy solutions,” the White House said.

Separately, the Defense Department set a goal of deploying three gigawatts of renewable energy on Army, Navy and Air Force installations by 2025.

The commitment will help the department meet its broader goal of getting 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025.

“Renewable energy is critical to making our bases more energy-secure,” the White House said.

“Together with emerging microgrid and storage technologies, reliable, local sources of renewable power will increase the energy security of our nation’s military installations. By doing so, the DOD is better able to carry out its mission to defend the nation.”

In addition, the Energy Department said Wednesday it is investing $30 million to develop improved energy storage technologies as part of its Advanced Research Projects Agency — Energy (ARPA-E).

The department said the new technologies have a number of applications in the military, including improving the fuel efficiency and reliability of generators that power aircraft, among other things.