WASHINGTON, DC—The Federal Planning Division of the American Planning Association has awarded The Louis Berger Group and Utah State University the 2011 Outstanding Sustainable Planning, Design or Development Initiative Award for a project determining the Feasibility of Energy Crops Grown on Army Lands.

LBG, Utah State University, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center, and the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management collaborated on this project, which demonstrates that land managed by the U.S. Army can be a significant asset to alternative fuel production. The U.S. Army controls about 15 million acres of land in the U.S., a portion of which could be converted to farm oilseed crops to use as an alternative fuel source, which could reduce maintenance costs of the land, promote environmental sustainability and support the goal of energy independence. Estimates suggest that this method could sustainably replace as much as 400 million gallons of conventional fuel with biodiesel fuel each year.

The Feasibility of Energy Crops Grown on Army Lands Study evaluated land use, fuel use, fuel production technology, agronomics, land management and institutional culture to identify a feasible method for the Army to realize the potential of its extensive land holdings to support sustainable energy production.

“This not only saves the military money but it replaces petroleum with a renewable resource,” explained Dallas Hanks, director of the Center for Agronomic and Woody Biofuels, which is part of USU Extension.

“This can be a source for substantial amounts of renewable fuel for the military,” said Keith Eastin, vice president of strategic planning at The Louis Berger Group. “Sometimes the obvious answers to renewable energy are right in front of us.”

The Federal Planning Division Awards Program is a seven-category competition to honor exceptional installations, programs, properties or persons involved with federal planning. The award will give this particular alternative fuel concept national exposure and increased access to federal agencies. The project team will be honored at an annual awards luncheon at the 2012 National Training Workshop for Federal Planners on April 10-13, 2012 in Los Angeles, CA.

About The Louis Berger Group, Inc.  
The Louis Berger Group, Inc., is an internationally recognized consulting firm that provides engineering, architecture, program and construction management, environmental planning and science, and economic development services. We are a devoted and trusted partner to federal, state, and local government agencies; multilateral institutions; and commercial industry. To this diverse client base we bring strategic vision and an entrepreneurial spirit, developing innovative solutions to some of the world’s most challenging problems. With a resource base of more than 5,000 professionals and affiliate employees in more than 90 countries, we are able to respond to local conditions while providing clients with the technical resources and rapid response capabilities of a leading global organization.