HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (Oct. 31, 2014) -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville's Energy Savings Performance Contracting team received a 2014 Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Renewable/Alternatives Small Group in a ceremony Oct. 29 at the Pentagon.

The award, presented by Hon. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, recognizes fiscal year 13 accomplishments.

In FY13, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville's ESPC program awarded 16 projects with a capital investment of $188.6 million for Army and Navy customers that will save 385,843 million BTUs annually, or enough energy saved equivalent to the energy consumed by 4,287 homes. These Army projects, coupled with projects awarded in 2012, make up 85 percent, or $424 million, of the Army's $498 million commitment to the 2011 $2 billion President's Performance Contracting Challenge.

"I couldn't be more proud of the ESPC team at Huntsville Center," said Will Irby, Huntsville Center's ESPC program manager. "It takes a team of dedicated professionals from multiple disciplines to execute these complex projects. Our team will continue to work hard to serve our customers and the Army in pursuit of their ESPC initiatives."

According to Michael Norton, the chief of the Energy Implementation Branch, the Energy Division ESPCs are performance-based contracts and are a partnership between the Army and an Energy Service Contractor.

"ESPCs require no upfront capital investment from the customer, and improvements are paid back from the savings they generate over time," Norton said. "In consultation with the Army Garrison, the ESCO provides capital and expertise to make comprehensive energy and water efficiency improvements on facilities or implements new renewable energy capability and maintains them in exchange for a portion of the generated savings."

With an ESPC task order: (a) savings guarantees are mandatory; (b) savings must exceed payments each year; (c) measurement and verification is mandatory; and (d) contract term cannot exceed 25 years. An ESPC task order is one of the acquisition vehicles in Huntsville Center's energy toolbox an installation can use to meet the Army's energy and water reduction goals without upfront capital costs. With decreasing budgets, the Army, Department of Defense and other federal agencies struggle to meet mandated energy reduction goals. These performance-based contracts allow agencies to make needed improvements despite these budget reductions.

The ESPC projects awarded by Huntsville Center were critical to Army success in meeting presidential goals as well as assisting garrisons in meeting their energy reduction goals and critical infrastructure improvement needs. The Energy Policy Act of 2005, Executive Order 13423, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and the National Defense Authorization Act 2010 are federal mandates that require a 30 percent energy consumption reduction by 2015, 20 percent water consumption reduction by 2020, use of renewable energy and solid waste diversion.

The Huntsville Center's ESPC program is recognized by the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Office of the Secretary of Defense and the White House Council on Environmental Quality for its expertise in third-party acquisition, acquisition processes, project execution and quality. The ESPC team is uniquely positioned to continue the success of the Army as we move forward into the next presidential challenge. Through a centralized program and project management and acquisition team, streamlined processes and high execution rate, Huntsville Center will continue to lead the Army DOD and other federal agencies in ESPC and Utility Energy Service Contract execution.

Two projects completed using a Huntsville Center ESPC also received awards. A project at Fort Carson, Colorado, received an award for water conservation on an installation, and White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, received a small group award for renewable/alternatives.

At Fort Carson, the installation made significant strides in reducing water consumption to meet Net Zero water reduction goals and to comply with Stage II water restrictions implemented by Colorado Springs Utilities. In FY13, Fort Carson replaced thousands of water fixtures in 77 buildings, improved and expanded the reclaimed water system and installed weather smart irrigation controllers. The $2 million initiative focused on toilets, aerators, urinals and shower heads that were audited and found to be using excessive amounts of water. The result of the project was that Fort Carson reduced its water intensity by more than 41 percent from FY07, far exceeding the goal of 2 percent reduction per year or 26 percent by FY20.

The 4.465 megawatt White Sands Missile Range solar photovoltaic system will generate approximately 10 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually, and provide an estimated annual savings of $700,000. Complemented by a 350 kW solar carport, the solar array deployed at White Sands will supply approximately 10 percent of the total power used at the installation and reduce carbon emissions by 74,000 tons per year. The project expects to save $35,251,533 over 25 years.

The White Sands ESPC used an Energy Services Agreement, which was a first of its kind for the Army. There are two main reasons to use an ESA structure within an ESPC. First, an ESPC structure allows one to bundle various technologies allowing lower payback technologies to be subsidized by higher payback ones. Second, and perhaps the overwhelming reason to use an ESA structure within an ESPC, is to reduce the cost of higher payback technologies (solar, wind and other renewable energy technologies) that would not otherwise be economical in an ESPC project.