Today is Earth Day, and we began celebrating this important initiative last weekend by taking part in the National Sustainable Design Expo on the National Mall. The fifth annual Expo, hosted by EPA, showcased innovative sustainable designs and projects created by student teams from colleges around the country. USACE had two booths, staffed by our hard-working volunteers, that featured our Environmental Community of Practice and our lakes and recreation areas.
While the event was a great opportunity to attract and encourage graduating college students to consider joining our team, the best part was seeing the great desire these students have to make the world more sustainable.
Sustainable energy is a crucial mission that we are proud to play a key role in accomplishing. The Army and Department of Defense are heavily involved in reducing energy consumption and finding renewable and alternative forms of energy, and your Corps of Engineers is a key player in this effort.
Base Realignment and Closure and our historically large, military construction mission provide a golden opportunity. For this fiscal year, which began in October, the Army budgeted for and began building 14 exciting, renewable-energy projects. Two projects worth noting are a geothermal heating and cooling project at Fort Sill that will save nearly 2,500 barrels of oil per year, and solar walls and rehabilitation shops at Fort Knox, which will save 2,400 barrels of oil per year. These projects will have a lasting impact to the economic and environmental health of this Nation. I love it!
We are working hard to meet Army sustainability goals, called Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and our energy contractors have already invested more than $418 million in 70 energy related infrastructure projects at 30 Army installations over the past few years. We project a total contractor investment of about $194 million, of which $58 million is for renewable energy-related projects this fiscal year.
The Corps of Engineers is working hard to build this nation “energy strong” now and for the future.