PICATINNY ARSENAL, NJ - The senior-most official on Army installations helped to break ground on an $8.4 million energy co-generation plant at a ceremony here on Nov. 7.
Participating in the ceremony with Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army Installation Energy and Environment, Jordon Gillis, were Picatinny's Senior Commander, Brig. Gen. Alfred Abramson; Garrison Commander, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Ivey, and Senior Vice President of the Federal Business Unit Energy Systems Group, Steven Spanbauer.
The new facility will help the arsenal become more energy efficient and resilient by providing two megawatts of baseline electricity for its power grid and steam for heating and for mission processes.
"This $8.4 million, 2-megawatt co-generation facility is one project of seven, totaling near $17 million," said Ivey, Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Commander. "Each project is energy efficient, will bring energy savings, and make our installation more energy independent by reducing our dependency on outside sources.
"It will provide us a sustainable source of energy and is one step of many in helping us reach our goal of sustaining critical missions ..." Ivey continued.
"We are exceptionally excited and looking forward to the timely construction of this facility and we are looking forward to competing for our eighth Secretary of the Army award for energy efficiency."
The co-generation design of the facility improves energy efficiency by using natural gas to power an electricity generator and to generate steam on site.
The steam is produced from the generator's waste heat, and it is utilized in an existing distribution system. Picatinny's mission processes have a year-round need for steam energy.
The project also supports the Army's directives for energy security. Picatinny's energy resiliency is improved by having the capability to generate electricity and steam for critical operations on site in the event of a loss of grid electricity.
"As we consider the continuation of shrinking budgets in the Army and priorities for readiness and our deployed forces, the installation management community must continue to seek innovative, timely, and creative ways to operate," said Abramson.
"Installations are the Army's platforms in readiness, providing mission and training areas, facilities, and infrastructure that prepare our Army and our warfighters for its ultimate challenges," the general said.
"They provide essential services for Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Civilians, as well as Family members to live and work in a safe environment."
"Bringing this cogeneration project online at Picatinny Arsenal is a great example of the Army's energy resilience strategy in action," Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Jordan Gillis stated at the commissioning ceremony for the Army's latest Combined Heat and Power project.
He said, "Picatinny provides critical support to the Army, and these cogeneration infrastructure upgrades that you see today enhance the Arsenal's and the Army's goals to be a ready force. Army installations are prioritizing energy and water security to ensure quality power and water are available to sustain critical missions. With this project online, the served facilities can indefinitely operate disconnected from the regional electrical grid.
"This project received unprecedented collaboration to ensure it remained financially viable. Thanks to an enhanced utility commodity price from New Jersey Natural Gas, this project's life cycle cost analysis came in strong. The Installation has received a $2M incentive credit from the New Jersey Clean Energy Program for this program, which provides confidence to investors that co-generation projects are attractive and viable.
"This facility has the capability to be fitted with back-up diesel fuel in the future, which will enable it to withstand a potential cut-off of its natural gas supply. Increasing fuel diversity further diversifies our assurance that when we require power, it will be there. Installation energy resilience enables Army Readiness and the Army's Multi-Domain Warfighting Strategy. It benefits the Army, the surrounding community, and the Nation. To help contextualize the size of this project, based on its 2MW size, this project will deliver enough power to operate the equivalent of 2,000 standard-sized residential homes on a cold winter day. It is a phenomenal addition to Picatinny's operational enhancement," Gillis said.
The Army is acquiring the seven energy-related projects under a modification to an existing Energy Savings Performance Contract. In an ESPC, projects are funded with the energy savings gained from having a more efficient infrastructure.
Construction management and financing is provided by Energy Systems Group, a third-party partner.
Picatinny Arsenal will receive a $2 million incentive from the State of New Jersey's Clean Energy Program for the co-generation project.
Picatinny has achieved, over the years, seven Secretary of the Army Awards for Energy Efficiency, one Secretary of the Army Award for Water Efficiency, as well as other federal awards for energy and water efficiency.
The co-generation plant will be another component of the energy program at Picatinny which also includes solar energy and improvements to reduce energy use.
Projects to reduce electricity usage by installing more-efficient LED lighting and lighting controls are also in progress.