Fairchild AFB Purchases Renewable Power to Support 100% of Electrical Load

March 23, 2004

Fairchild Air Force Base is giving Northwest wind energy a big boost and meeting federal renewable energy goals at the same time. The Air Force is now buying enough renewable power to meet 100 percent of the electrical load for the military base.

Fairchild's purchase is a combination of renewable energy and Renewable Energy Certificates, otherwise known as Green Tags. The tags are offered by the Bonneville Power Administration as a way to offset the costs of renewable energy development and production in the Pacific Northwest. Fairchild AFB requires about 7.5 average megawatts of power (aMW), an amount comparable to a community of about 5,000 homes.

Every certificate (tag) guarantees that one megawatt-hour of wind energy is produced in the Northwest during the year.

"Fairchild is very proud of its reputation as a good steward of our environment and of the taxpayers' dollars," said Colonel Anthony M. Mauer, Commander of the 92nd Air Refueling Wing, Fairchild Air Force Base. "This is a very cost-effective way to support renewable energy while meeting the goals of executive orders calling on federal agencies to purchase their electricity from clean energy sources."

Fairchild�s purchase means that 7.5 aMW of renewable energy will be generated in the Northwest, 99 percent of which will come from wind projects under contract to BPA and 1 percent from small hydro. Fairchild�s renewable resource mix will include 17 percent actual energy and the rest in Green Tags.

"Our long-standing, sound business relationship with Fairchild made this possible," said BPA Administrator Steve Wright. "Fairchild is the first federal facility in the Northwest, and our first customer, to support all of its electrical load with renewable energy. This kind of support helps diversify our region�s hydropower system and sends a strong market signal."

BPA currently buys power from six wind generation plants in the region. The power is melded into the Federal Columbia River Power System. Fairchild�s purchase helps ensure the continued production of those wind-generated megawatts.

See BPA's press release for more details.