Solar Powered Marines? Ooh-rah!*

The Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy System (GREENS) uses stackable 1600-watt solar panel arrays and deep cycle batteries to supply an average continuous output of 300 watts and up to 1,000 watts of power. The systems will provide enough electricity for essential communications and targeting electronics needed by the Marines when operating in remote locations.

GREENS will reduce the fuel use needed for generators and in lessening the need for fuel resupply, will reduce the associated threats to vehicle convoys in Afghanistan and Iraq..

According to a related article on Defense Systems, transporting fuel in high risk locations can raise fuel costs from a regular price of USD$1 per gallon to about USD$400 and if an airlift is necessary, the price can reach USD$1,000 a gallon.

The GREENS project was conceived in late 2008. Approval for the project was expedited and technical execution took less than six months with the
first unit tested in July 2009. The GREENS system underwent continuous power testing at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, California where temperatures exceeded 46 degrees Celsius.

Even under such hot conditions, the system provided 85 percent of the rated energy. As a result of the better than expected performance, the project is now being fast-tracked to deploy the equipment in the field.

The US Navy has set a goal of  at least 40 percent of its total energy consumption to be sourced from alternative sources such as biofuels and renewable energy by 2020.

*Ooh-rah  is a spirited cry common to United States Marines since the mid-20th century states Wikipedia.