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Posted 4/29/2013

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By Debra Valine
Huntsville Center

The first of three 275-kilowatt wind turbines to be erected on Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico, started producing energy April 19. The turbines are part of a 10-project energy and water reduction effort that, in addition to installing wind power generation, includes solar photovoltaic systems, and water conservation measures.

The savings from all projects are forecast to total 37,867 MBtu and $2,606,258 per year, with savings from wind power alone totaling 3,244 MBtu per year. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, awarded the $34 million task order to Johnson Controls Government Systems, Milwaukee, Dec. 22, 2012.

While not the first wind turbine for the Army -- Tooele Army Depot has had a wind turbine since July 2009 -- it is the first for the Army under an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC).

"This is a great project that has traditional energy conservation measures as well as renewable and water reduction," said Michael Norton, chief of Huntsville Center's Energy Implementation Branch.

An ESPC is a partnership between the Army and an energy services company. In consultation with the federal government, the energy services company provides capital and expertise to make comprehensive energy and water efficiency improvements on facilities, or implements new renewable energy capability and maintains them in exchange for a portion of the generated savings.

This project supports President Obama's directive that federal agencies use ESPC to make $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next two years, as well as supporting the Army's energy reduction goals of 30 percent energy and 15 percent water reduction by 2015.

"This project employs wind and water renewable technologies and serves as an outstanding example of combining several technologies that together result in substantial energy consumption and cost savings for the Army," said Lisa Harris, ESPC project manager for the Fort Buchanan project.

This first turbine on Fort Buchanan is at the South Gate. Turbines will also be erected at a former Directorate of Public Works site on Fort Buchanan and at Roosevelt Roads. The anticipated completion date is June 2013.

Fort Buchanan is a NetZero installation for water conservation. Projects include replacing an air-cooled chiller; installing an energy management controls system; upgrading a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system and window/split air-conditioning system; installing energy-efficient interior and exterior lighting including LED street lighting; installing occupancy sensors; installing renewable energy systems, including a 1.2 megawatt solar photovoltaic system, a solar thermal water heating system, and an 825-kilowatt wind power generation system; and installing a water/sewer conservation and irrigation system, which is forecast to save 37,144,000 gallons of water per year. Upgrades will also be made to the existing commissioning services.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers strives to protect, sustain, and improve the natural and man-made environment of our nation, and is committed to compliance with applicable environmental and energy statutes, regulations, and Executive Orders. Sustainability is not only part of the Corps' decision processes, but is also part of its culture."

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