The U.S. Army controls about 15 million acres of land in the United States, some of which could be converted to farm oilseed crops to produce an alternative fuel source. Estimates suggest this could replace millions of gallons of conventional fuel with biodiesel fuel each year.
WSP, Utah State University, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Lab and the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management collaborated on a project called the Feasibility of Energy Crops Grown on Army Lands Study. The study evaluated land use, fuel use, fuel production technology, agronomics, land management and institutional culture to find a way for Army land to support sustainable energy.
The team determined that Army land could effectively be used to grow oilseed crops. This would:
- Reduce maintenance costs of the land.
- Promote environmental sustainability.
- Support the goal of energy independence.
WSP and Utah State University won a 2011 Federal Planning Division of the American Planning Association Outstanding Sustainable Planning, Design and Development Initiative Award for the study.