Air Force to Save More Than $600 Million with Energy Initiative

The US Air Force has teamed up with Honeywell on a $243 million facility modernization project that is expected to reduce energy consumption by 23% and save the base $20.5 million. The project at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City is the largest energy savings performance contract ever awarded by the Air Force.

Once completed, the improvements are expected to save the Oklahoma City – Air Logistics Complex (OC-ALC) more than $626 million in energy and operational costs over the life of the project. The first year alone is expected to yield more than $6.7 million in energy savings and $13.4 million in operational savings. The project is being funded through a Utility Energy Service Contract. The contract enables the base to pay for the project using future energy savings generated by the more efficient energy, water and renewable systems to be installed. Honeywell is providing the upgrades and guaranteeing the savings.

“In addition to increasing productivity, the improvements will also make us more competitive in the private sector for aircraft maintenance work through decreasing our energy costs,” says Brig. Gen. Mark K. Johnson, OC-ALC commander.

The project will focus on upgrading infrastructure and industrial processes to make the base’s buildings more energy and operationally efficient. The work includes:

  • Modernizing manufacturing lines to eliminate wasted ventilation and increase worker safety 
  • Updating wastewater treatment systems to provide equipment control and alarm monitoring 
  • Installing two new 2,000-ton chillers to increase the reliability of the cooling system 
  • Upgrading paint booths to reduce energy used by the painting process 
  • Decentralizing the steam heating plant with a distributed heat system to lower energy use 
  • Installing more efficient LED lighting with wireless controls 
  • Installing smart meters to more closely monitor and track building energy consumption

The project builds on previous Honeywell work at Tinker Air Force Base, all of which has reduced overall energy use by approximately 37% and saved approximately $12 million in annual energy and operating costs.

This is not the first energy saving initiative of the US Air Force. Earlier this month at Pearl Harbor, the Air Force Research Laboratory teamed up with the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies to design the Pacific Energy Assurance and Resiliency Laboratory (PEARL). The project aims to create a renewable energy microgrid lab, part of an ongoing effort by the military to devise means to meet their own energy needs.

And recently, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced a partnership with Siemens USA to implement facility upgrades that will enhance energy efficiency and reliability. The project – at the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center in Lima, Ohio – will also add energy security to one of the Army’s most voracious power consumers.

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