Army Initiatives Focus on Energy

October 28, 2014 By Karen Henry

army-march-energy-manageThe US Army is undertaking initiatives to make its bases more energy independent, instill a culture of energy efficiency and expand its Resource Energy Efficiency Manager (REM) program.

The Army has partnered with the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to increase energy security through improved energy efficiency and optimized renewable energy strategies at nine installations. NREL is working with the Army to help the following six installations achieve net zero status by 2020:

  • Camp Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (Calif.)
  • Fort Detrick (Md.)
  • Fort Hunter Liggett (Calif.)
  • Kwajalein Atoll (Republic of the Marshal Islands)
  • Sierra Army Depot (Calif.)
  • West Point (N.Y.)

NREL is working with Fort Bliss in Texas and Fort Carson in Colorado to become integrated net zero installations, meaning they will be net zero energy, net zero water, and net zero waste. NREL is also working with the Oregon National Guard on net zero energy plans for all of the state’s installations.

If all nine of the Army Net Zero Energy Installation pilot sites achieve their goal, they will replace about 8 percent of the Army’s current total installation energy use with renewable energy.

To help instill a culture of energy conservation, the Army has been installing advanced electric meters on most of its major buildings over the last several years. Eventually, the system will measure and analyze the Army’s energy use down to an individual building, giving senior officials a hyper-local accounting for at least 65 percent of the electricity the Army consumes. It intends to use the data from the meters to educate installations about how energy use at their facilities compares to similar facilities and inform decision makers about future energy management programs.

The Army says it has installed 8,600 meters as of this month, reaching 96 percent of its goal. It plans to finish the rest by 2015.

The Army has expanded its REM program to 11 Army Reserve locations. The REM Program contracts energy subject matter experts who work with local energy managers to identify cost-effective programs and practices to reduce energy and water costs.

Since 2009, REMs have identified more than $135 million in potential energy savings and $20 million in realized savings for executed projects across the Army.

Photo via Shutterstock.

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