JBM-HH benefits from privatization of electricity
July 28, 2011
By Rhonda Apple
Since 2007, Dominion Virginia Power has managed the electricity needs for Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall when electrical service was privatized.
This electrical utility privatization falls within Lines of Effort Four " Installation Readiness, Directorate of Public Works electrical engineer Cyrus Jabbari said.
“This utility privatization actually started long before General [Rick] Lynch, commander of IMCOM, established these Lines of Effort,” added Jabbari.
“The utility privatization partnership [between JBM-HH and DVP] is overseen by the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy, which operates from Fort Belvoir,” said Jabbari.
“The electrical utility privatization [with DVP] is a contract where the government assigns ownership of all the high voltage switch gears within the base to DVP,” said Jabbari. “Anything dealing with power within JBM-HH is covered under the contract.”
Once DVP began overseeing the electricity needs on the installation, they also maintained and upgraded the equipment [underground wires, transformers, switches], Jabbari explained.
“DVP responds to any outages which results from damage to equipment,” he said. JBM-HH gets priority during power outages due to the terms of the contract.
“The high voltage section of the utility is very specialized and we don’t have anyone with the same knowledge, capability or equipment to handle the high voltage infrastructure as DVP,” said Jabbari. “They get paid through our annual budget.
“However, the Capital Improvement Project, which is the renovation of all the equipment, is funded by Installation Management Command,” said Jabbari. “Even that will eventually be funded through our budget here.
“DPW decides what we want to do regarding a new project or upgrade and we pass on our requirements to DLA-Energy,” said Jabbari. “First there’s a proposal made, then a cost estimate. The estimate comes to DPW, if negotiating is needed, then we go through DLA.”
When funding comes through, the paperwork goes from DLA to the utility provider so work can be done, Jabbari said.
If the power goes out in an office on JBM-HH, Jabbari said there are two entities responsible for restoring the electricity to the office. “The high voltage side, maintained by DVP and the low voltage side, maintained by DPW,” said Jabbari.
If the problem is low voltage, for example if a breaker trips, then DPW takes care of the problem. “Each building coordinator goes through the DPW service desk, which issues a ticket and DPW will take care of the problem,” said Jabbari.
“If an electrical problem is due to high voltage, normally it’s not one room or one building that loses power, it’s a row of buildings or an entire street which loses power. In this case, we will call DVP,” he said.
If a resident on the installation loses power, Jabbari said they should call their building coordinator or the fire department.
DVP has strict protocols they follow regarding equipment and safety. “All of DVP’s equipment " within the confines of the installation " is locked to prevent safety issues,” said Jabbari. “Most of their equipment is locked in protective vaults so no one can get electrocuted,” he said.
Regarding power liability, DPW has signed a contract with DVP to install generators which will prevent power outages for many buildings on the installation, Jabbari said.
“Five new generators are being installed on Fort McNair and 11 on JBM-HH,” he said.
Installation of two of the generators on JBM-HH started Monday and Tuesday, said Jabbari.
“One of the generators is a replacement for an older, smaller one at the JBM-HH Fitness Center, Bldg. 414, the other is at Executive Management and Housing Directorate, Bldg. 416.” Each generator should be installed and working within a month, Jabbari said.