Not so much, reports Daveed Gartenstein-Ross over at the excellent Gunpowder and Lead blog:
Because the base has to be self-sustaining — and because food, supplies, building materials, etc. have to be brought in from elsewhere — that significantly increases costs at the naval station. One thing that I found particularly interesting is that a large percentage of the base’s electrical power comes from liquid fuels. Costs are not just related to the expense of the fuels themselves, but also the expense of bringing them to the naval station in the first place. Given the military’s push for green energy, I wondered if this might be an area where the base could save money in the long term.
To be clear, one of the very prominent features of the Guantánamo naval station is four windmills atop one of the hills (only three of which are functioning at present). However, only 2-3% of the base’s electricity on any given day is generated by the windmills.
Based on the sheer amount of sunlight it experiences, Guantánamo Bay also seems like it could be an ideal place to harness solar energy. And indeed, the base features a small solar field that is set inside an old high school running track that is no longer in use. But like the windmills, this solar field does not make a significant dent in the base’s overall electricity consumption.
Nettleton told me that they have been looking into a variety of alternative energy options because “this would be a great place” for it. “DoD has looked here for algae,” he said. “You can grow algae here all day long.” He also mentioned possible further development of solar power, in that new technology has been bringing down the cost of solar.