HUNTSVILLE, Ala.--The U.S. Army Garrison Fort Riley used a U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville acquisition tool resulting in the installation receiving the Army’s Energy Efficiency 2020 Project of the Year Award
Huntsville Center is considered the Army’s expert in Energy Savings Performance Contracts, a tool used to support the Army’s Installation Energy and Water Resilience Policy as reflected in Army Directive 2020-03.
In consultation with the garrison, the contractor— known as the Energy Service Company— provides capital and expertise to make comprehensive energy and water reduction, energy resilience and security efficiency improvements on facilities and maintains them in exchange for a portion of the generated savings.
In the Fort Riley project, Southland Energy incorporated energy conservation measures from 11 technology categories in over 445 facilities on the installation.
The $62.5 million in infrastructure improvements provides annual energy savings of $4.3 million, 8 percent greater than the guaranteed savings, said Kirk Ross, Huntsville Center ESPC project manager.
“The partnership between the garrison, ESCO, Huntsville Center and other Army stakeholders requires a high degree of commitment and work in good faith from the partners to enable successful outcomes as an ESPC is a long-term relationship,” Kirk said.
Huntsville Center’s Energy Savings and Performance Contracting program incorporates the Department of Defense Risk Management Framework process to achieve an Authority to Operate for Fort Riley’s Energy Management Control System allowing for enhanced monitoring and adjustment of facility operations.
Fort Riley Directorate of Public Works, Energy Branch used Huntsville Center’s ESPC program to add up more than $2.6 million in cost savings. That six-figure saving was just a part of what earned them the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Energy Efficiency.
The 41st Annual Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards were announced in October during a ceremony presided over by the Honorable Alex A. Beehler, assistant secretary of U.S. Army Installations, Energy and Environment; and Daniel Klippstein, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-9 Headquarters. The ceremony was held via Microsoft Teams.
“As the Army continues its focus on energy and water resilience, efficiency and affordability, we are very excited that our installation energy managers and stakeholders are also adapting to make smarter energy and water choices, ones that will not only save taxpayer dollars but more importantly allow installations to maintain critical operations during an unexpected grid outage,” Beehler said.
The physically distanced ceremony didn’t lessen the impact of the DPW energy team achievement. According to the DPW Director, the resulting award was the culmination of more than just cost-consciousness on the job. It also had to do with the way the efforts to privatize Fort Riley’s utilities were handled and the benefits that will be evident in future years.
“So this is a huge accomplishment,” said Jeff Williamson, Director of Fort Riley’s DPW. “The Energy savings performance contract coupled with the Utilities Privatization have culminated at a similar time frame bringing $1.3 billion to the Fort Riley utilities Infrastructure. While disparate actions, they have a common goal of energy and water efficiency. Both actions were originally scoped and planned in 2012 with the ESPC Phase I awarded in fiscal year 2017, phase II in FY 18 and phase III in FY 19 plus three of the four utilities – electric, water, wastewater and gas - distribution systems awarded in FY 18 and the gas awarded in FY19.”
The contracts not only released Fort Riley from the burden of management and maintenance on these systems but with their implementation, they made a way to guarantee energy savings into the future.
“The UP contracts are to bring the distribution systems and plants up to code, resulting in safe and reliable utilities,” Williams said.
“As the contracts mature, we'll see additional savings beyond the current 14.8% in energy intensity reduction and 10.2% in water reduction. Conserving Army resources ensures that we can focus resources on Readiness.”
Hadassa Baker, an engineer with the Fort Riley Energy Branch said those significant savings included upgrades to about 280 facilities. She explained the varied individual projects included things like replacing outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls; updating one of the central chiller plants; updating boilers, installing energy-efficient lighting and efforts in water conservation all played a role.
Total future savings for the term of the contract are expected to be around 128,999,949,575 BTUs in energy and 37,815,000 gallons of water. All of that adds up to around $92 million. Additionally, the efforts ensure disruptions can be overcome quickly.
The ESPC Program Manager at the Huntsville Center, Shah Alam, said that the ESPC is a relatively large program within the Center with 118 projects and $2.5 billion in capital investments; and saved an average of 13 percent in excess energy savings above the contractor’s guaranteed amount (as of fiscal year 2019—the latest available data).