Title page for ETD etd-10032012-141502

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Hughes, Jeffrey S
URN etd-10032012-141502
Title Comparison of Large Scale Renewable Energy Projects for the United States Air Force
Degree Master of Science
Department Civil Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pearce, Annie R. Committee Chair
de la Garza, Jesus M. Committee Member
Fiori, Christine M. Committee Member
  • wind energy
  • solar energy
Date of Defense 2012-10-02
Availability unrestricted
This thesis focused on the performance of large-scale renewable energy projects for the United States Air Force. As global energy demands continue to rise, the need to find ways to save energy and produce alternative sources of energy will increase. The Federal Government has begun to address the challenge of energy production and energy security in recent years. In order to increase both the energy production and energy security for the Air Force, there is a trend to increase the amount of renewable energy produced on military installations. The goal of this research was to compare the estimated and actual performance of these large-scale on-site renewable energy projects at Air Force installations. The variables considered for this research were the execution methods and the renewable energy sources. The performance of each project was evaluated against factors identified in previous sustainable construction studies. The study found that actual performance of third party owned and operated projects differed from the expected performance by less than the Air Force owned and operated projects, and that performance of renewable energy projects differed from the expected performance by less than high performance buildings from previous studies. The study also found factors that contributed to the gap between the expected and actual performance including optimistic modeling, unusual weather, operational issues and higher than expected maintenance of the projects. The results of this research were an initial step in understanding the actual performance of large-scale renewable energy projects.
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