Navy's call for alternative energy in Lemoore just another example of green trend

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The Pentagon's effort to go green appears to have reached the Central San Joaquin Valley.

Last month, the Navy collected alternative energy proposals for 2,900 acres near Naval Air Station Lemoore with the intent of considering "the private development of large-scale renewable energy generation facilities." The green power would fuel base operations.

The Navy is hardly alone. The private sector likewise has launched into the green energy movement with startling vigor, despite the downturn. And as we've repeated here numerous times, small government has seen the fiscal prudence of energy efficiency -- planning retrofits in municipal real estate.

Today, Google announced that it would buy 114 megawatts of wind power from NextEra Energy Resources starting July 30 for 20 years. The energy would come from turbines in Story and Hardin counties in Iowa and supply several data centers, said Thomas Claburn of

Claburn quoted Urs Hoelzle, senior vice president of operations at Google, as saying "the size of the purchase will support further investment in clean energy production."

And Wal-Mart has emerged as a leader in corporate America, extending to suppliers its efforts to make operations energy efficient. Wal-Mart President and CEO Lee Scott said earlier this year that the company would continue to demonstrate leadership and work for change worldwide.

“It is important for all of us to understand that there are a number of issues facing the world that will profoundly affect our lives and our company,” Scott said in a statement. “I am talking to you about issues like international trade, climate change, water shortages, social and economic inequities, infrastructure and foreign oil. Wal-Mart can take a leadership role, get out in front of the future, and make a difference that is good for our business and the world.”

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is on the same page. "It's a matter of energy independence, it's a matter of our security," he said last month of the need for the Navy and Marine Corps to reduce dependence on foreign fossil fuels.