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Marines in Afghanistan Find That Solar Saves Lives | Solar Energy USA Blog Archive

Marines in Afghanistan Find That Solar Saves Lives

Posted on Thursday, January 20th, 2011 at 11:15 am by Solar Energy USA

A battalion of Marines in Afghanistan is going green, using solar panels to reduce their energy consumption and thereby reduce the things they carry — and even save lives.

The Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment arrived last October at Forward Operating Base Jackson, outside Sangin, Afghanistan, with an array of solar equipment. The battalion’s generators typically use more than 20 gallons of fuel a day, but the Marines have cut that to 2.5 gallons a day, according to Staff Sgt. David Doty, who maintains the gear.

Saving generator fuel can cut down on the number of convoys the Marines must make to fueling stations, and therefore lessen the chances of becoming a target. The 3/5, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., lost more than a dozen Marines right after deployment last fall, including nine men killed by IEDs over a four-day period in October.