FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Energy experts from around the country spoke at Fort Leonard Wood's first "Energy Day" July 13.

Fort Leonard Wood's Energy Day was a part of the post's Integrated Strategic Sustainability Plan's quarterly workshops that focus on a 25-year plan in order to maintain sustainability on the installation, according to Mark Premont, Plans, Analysis, Information and Operations.

"Essentially what we're doing with the ISSP is looking at those areas that could possibly cause a problem in some way, shape, form or fashion that would interrupt continued operations on the installation," Premont said.

One such area, Premont said, is energy, which is why Energy Day was incorporated into this quarter's ISSP workshop. The forum allowed experts to present sustainable solutions and technology that are available in the energy field, he added.

"A lot of initiatives that we're working at Fort Leonard Wood have to do with energy," Premont said. "We thought, 'What we really ought to do is have a day where we go ahead and bring in all the experts from the different teams and from outside agencies to talk about energy, so that we can all bring ourselves to the appropriate level on where we are on energy, where the government is on energy and sort of what the technology is available.'"

Experts from various organizations such as the Army's Energy Initiative Task Force, the Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory and Missouri University of Science and Technology presented information on small modular nuclear reactors, clean coal, thermal solar, ground source heat pumps, bio-fuels and biomass, to name a few.

Annette Stumpf, a research architect and project manager for the Army Corps of Engineers Construction Engineering Research Lab in Champagne, Ill., who also helped coordinate the event, said she was excited for the day.

"We worked really hard to pick topics that would be interesting to everyone and get really good technical experts to speak on it without being biased and trying to push a particular product," Stumpf said. "We want an un-biased look at all the technologies that we could use here (at Fort Leonard Wood) to generate energy."

Power generation, Stumpf said, is key to Fort Leonard Wood's future energy plan.

"I think (Fort Leonard Wood) has a unique opportunity in the Army to look at how you generate power and save energy so you can both reduce your energy load and also set up power generation smartly. You can distribute it around the base so you can take advantage of hot and cold water as a part of the power generation and use that more efficiently in your buildings," Stumpf said. "(Fort Leonard Wood) can really have a futuristic energy production here if we really plan this out right."

Stumpf said using renewable resources is also important for Fort Leonard Wood.

"We spend a lot of money on energy and when you save energy, you spend less money. The first thing you need to do is try to save energy and save water. Then, when you create power generation, you don't have to create as much, so it's a better use of your resources," Stumpf said. "It's the right thing to do."

Stumpf said Energy Day also started the dialogue on how Fort Leonard Wood could be more self-sustaining in regards to energy.

"Fort Leonard Wood has been buying cheap power and the bill has gone up a lot," Stumpf said. "Now that we have the opportunity to look at how we can do power generation, we also are thinking of how to make the installation more resilient in case of a natural disaster, like if there's a big earthquake that hits St. Louis, this is going to be a place where people go to rescue them. Fort Leonard is going to need to stand on its own and really be self-reliant."

(Editor's Note: Wood is the director of public affairs at Fort Leonard Wood.)

Page last updated Wed July 18th, 2012 at 11:10