The U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Defense have signed a “Memorandum of Understanding,” partnering up to further develop renewable energy technologies pertinent to each department. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed the MOU back in July, with a goal to begin collaborating by October 2012.

The DOD is looking to develop renewable energy sources in the interest of greater energy security while the DOI has goals of generating additional renewable energy sources on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf. Through this partnership, the DOD will be opening up 16 million acres of its land for new renewable energy projects and development, with the stated goal of providing clean energy for military bases and installations. “Renewable energy will allow a military base to maintain critical operations for weeks or months if an electric power grid goes down,” said Dorothy Robyn from the DOD.

In July, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced plans for “solar zones” in six southwestern states in order to encourage solar power development and this partnership will add wind (both on and offshore) and geothermal sources of energy to future studies. Because of the amount of withdrawn lands (public land withdrawn for military use) the DOD currently has under ownership, it expects that renewable projects could generate 1 GW of energy for each branch of military by 2025. This MOU aims to make that a reality.

[via Forbes]

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