DOD Renewable Energy Projects: Improved Guidance Needed for Analyzing and Documenting Costs and Benefits
U.S. Government Accountability Office Washington United States
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Why GAO Did This Study.By law and executive order, DOD is to pursue goals for the production and consumption of renewable energy. Also, DOD policy calls for investing in cost-effective renewable energy and improving energy securityaddressing risks such as disruption of electricity grids serving military installations.The Joint Explanatory Statement for the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 included a provision for GAO to examine how DOD determines the costs and benefits of a sample of renewable energy projects. This report examines 1 DODs approach for developing renewable energy projects with a generating capacity greater than 1 megawatt, 2 DODs approach for analyzing the financial costs and benefits of selected projects, and 3 the extent to which these projects addressed DODs renewable energy goals and energy security objective. GAO examined a nongeneralizable sample of 17 projects that reflect a mix of military departments and services, funding mechanisms, and technologies. GAO also examined legal authorities, project documentation, and DOD guidance, and interviewed DOD officials.What GAO Recommends.GAO is making eight recommendations, including that DOD should clarify guidance to call for project documentation to include 1 a comparison of the value of the land used and the compensation DOD is to receive for it and 2 information on projects contributions toward DODs energy security objective. DOD fully concurred with GAOs recommendations.