Conservatives for Clean Energy was proud to host Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.), with the Military Advisory Board for a visit to the Hampton Roads region.
The CNA Military Advisory Board (MAB) is an elite group of retired three- and four-star flag and general officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps that studies pressing issues of the day to assess their impact on America’s national security. Vice Admiral Lee F. Gunn, USN (Ret.), is the Vice Chairman, CNA’s Military Advisory Board and is a former Inspector General of the Department of the Navy. Vice Admiral Lee Gunn served for 35 years in the U.S. Navy. His last active duty assignment was Inspector General of the Department of the Navy where he was responsible for the Department’s overall inspection program and its assessments of readiness, training, and quality of service.
The day started out with the Admiral participating in a radio interview on the John Fredericks Show. Admiral Gunn talked about how Virginia can be a leader in the advanced energy economy by developing wind, solar, and other forms of clean energy. By leading the nation, we can secure our energy independence, and make our military bases more resilient. You can listen to the interview in its entirety here.
We then traveled to Tidewater Community College’s Chesapeake campus to learn more about their innovative program, Solar Ready Vets. This program is developed by the Department of Energy to connect skilled veterans to the solar energy industry, preparing them for careers as solar photovoltaic system installers, sales representatives, system inspectors, and other solar-related occupations. This is a five-week training program providing the technical knowledge necessary to begin a career in the solar industry. After students complete the course they are often linked up with jobs in the industry. As this industry develops, and demand of alternative energies grows, Solar Ready Vets is a program that can truly benefit service members during their transition to civilian life and one great perk is it’s all free of charge for the service members.
Our next stop was to tour Naval Air Station Oceana’s new solar farm. In August 2016, Dominion Energy Virginia, the Department of the Navy, and the Commonwealth of Virginia reached an agreement to construct an 18-megawatt solar facility at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Commonwealth will purchase the solar output and renewable attributes from the facility under a long-term agreement. In exchange for the nearly 100 acres that will house the 179,000 solar panels of the ground-mounted, single-axis tracking facility, the Navy will receive an alternative electric feed, which will increase energy resiliency on the base. The facility will produce enough electricity at peak production to power approximately 4,400 homes.
The last stop on the tour was a clean energy reception at the Westin in Virginia Beach Town center. A number of concerned citizens and energy policy enthusiasts came out to meet Vice Admiral Gunn and hear his thoughts on how Virginia can lead the new clean energy economy. Attendees were given information on Conservatives for Clean Energy, the Military Advisory Board, and the polling data from our 2017 Virginia Clean Energy Survey.