Interior, DoD to convert unused bases to energy projects

Tuesday - 8/7/2012, 7:50am EDT

The Interior and Defense departments have signed an agreement to let unused land on or near military bases be used to develop energy projects.

The two departments will jointly decide which parcels won't be needed for military use.

Interior estimates 13 million acres in the Western United States have high winds, lots of sunlight, or sit on top of geothermal sources.

"Renewable energy projects built on these lands will provide reliable, local sources of power for military installations; allow for a continued energy supply if the commercial power grid gets disrupted; and will help lower utility costs," said Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a statement.

The agencies will test the agreement at three locations, including the Barry Goldwater Range and Yuma Proving Ground, both in Arizona. The agreement calls for future development of offshore wind power.

This story is part of Federal News Radio's daily DoD Report. For more defense news, click here.