Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Economics Dept.


Sahan Dissanayake

Second Advisor

James Siodla

Third Advisor

Nathan Chan


In 2007, the United States government issued the National Defense Authorization Act, and Section 2852 mandates that the Department of Defense (DoD) meets 25% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2025. This paper investigates the production decisions that the DoD faces when increasing its share of renewable energy to meet this objective. A linear programming model is created to solve for the cost-effective renewable energy portfolio mix for each military base to meet its production target of renewable energy. The renewable sources utilized in each base’s energy portfolio include solar, wind, geothermal, and renewably-sourced energy from the grid, each of which entails its own capital and marginal cost structures that the model incorporates when computing total cost. The model allows for detailed analysis of numerous sets of constraints and scenarios of interest to policymakers, including an alternative policy in which the DoD-operated facilities must each meet the 25% target instead of the Department’s aggregate objective. Later scenarios reveal how the DoD can meet this mandate while also complying with additional policies pertaining to renewable energy production. The cost comparisons between these scenarios demonstrate how the model and framework developed in this paper yield lessons for policy makers designing renewable energy production thresholds.


renewable energy, military installations, optimal energy mix, solar energy, wind energy, biomass, energy economics, environmental economics