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US Army Invests $208.8m in Energy-Savings in a Year

Jessica Lyons Hardcastle

The US Army has invested $208.8 million of its $384-million goal in energy-saving initiatives since December 2011, and is on target to meet its goal next year, according to an Army News Service report.

On Dec. 2, 2011, President Obama directed all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next two years.

To date, the Army says it has awarded 17 energy savings performance contract (ESPC) task orders to private contractors and nine utility energy services contract (UESC) task orders to utility companies to meet its target by Dec. 31, 2013. These contracts cover energy-efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting systems, and water projects.

UESCs and ESPCs focus on energy used in buildings and could include small-scale renewables like solar photovoltaics, solar-thermal for hot water and air heating and wind power, Randy Smidt, Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management program manager for ESPCs and UESCs, tells the Army News.

According to Smidt, the Army’s first UESCs were completed in 1992, and ESPCs followed in 1996. Some $1.16 billion in energy contracts have been performed in ESPCs and $543 million through UESCs since then, he says.

In November, the Seattle District of the US Army Corps of Engineers moved into new headquarters which is expected to merit LEED Platinum certification from the US Green Building Council and an EnergyStar score of 100.

The same month, the US Army Corps of Engineers awarded a $7 million contract to a team including Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) to demonstrate integration of electric vehicles, generators and solar arrays to supply emergency power for Fort Carson, Colo.

The goal for the SwRI portion of the 18-month effort is to demonstrate the ability of electric vehicles to serve as energy storage devices in support of a microgrid and provide grid ancillary services, such as peak shaving and demand response, during non-microgrid operation. The team will build a microgrid out of existing electrical infrastructure at the Army post, integrating a 2-MW PV array, diesel generator sets and electric vehicles.

Photo Credit: US Army

 



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