DENVER, Colo. -- Fort Huachuca recently received a 2019 Annual Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Innovation and New Technology at a ceremony in Denver, Colo.

Jack Porter Jr., chief, Business Operations and Integration Division, Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Huachuca accepted the award. The 2019 Annual Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards were presented to ten recipient organizations, garrisons and individuals in recognition of their accomplishments during fiscal year 2018 in a ceremony held Aug. 22.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, Jordan Gillis and the Director of Operations for the Assistant Chief of Staff for Installation Management, Brig. Gen. Joy L. Curriera, presented the awards on behalf of the Secretary of the Army following the closing ceremony of the 2019 Energy Exchange at the Colorado Convention Center.

The awards were presented and recognized efforts in three award categories, Energy and Water Resilience Program Effectiveness, Innovation and New Technology, and Individual Exceptional Performance.

"The Innovation and New Technology award was primarily for implementing the Combined Heat and Power Energy Conservation Measure," said Bjorn Olsen, energy manager, Fort Huachuca, Directorate of Public Works.

"That's been a big focus of the Assistant Secretary of the Army inside of energy management," he continued. "We have been able to implement this with our partners in utilities, such as Tucson Electric Power, Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative, Southwest Gas Corporation and Schneider Electric. They've all been major players in helping us with this project, from running a new gas line to the post to provide fuel for these generators, to allowing for interconnected gear so we can switch between the new power we are generating as well as the power we receive from off post."

Olsen explained that "all of these key players, as well as our designers with Black and Veatch, and working with the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., have helped piece this together to create quite a large project that's going to help build the energy resiliency here."

U.S. Army Garrison Fort Huachuca demonstrated innovation in fiscal year 2018 through utilizing different contracting acquisition tools and agreements to attain a combined heat and power (CHP) plant on the installation to be the first building block for a mission critical microgrid. This included an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) optimizing procurement cost of the natural gas commodity and construction of a high-pressure gas line to support the CHP.
The contract focused on eight different energy conservation efforts: Combined Heat and Power Plant consisting of two 2-MW natural gas driven generators, absorption chillers, controls, and boilers; programmable thermostats; demand-controlled ventilation; interior lighting retrofits; exterior lighting retrofits; lighting controls; conversion of tower fans to variable speed and converting fans and pumps to variable speed. Fort Huachuca energy team accepted the challenge to bring energy security and resiliency to the installation with limited funding available and the result was the collaboration and three years of perseverance to utilize a third-party financing option that would cash flow and allow the construction of a combined heat and power plant.

Porter elaborated on how the Fort coordinated with its utility partners to potentially bring a new power line onto the installation from a different corridor.

"In essence we will have two power supplies from two different grids, so if one grid went out we would always have a full back-up on another grid and vice versa," he said. "This eliminates the risk of wildfire on our major transmission lines."

During fiscal year 2018, the Directorate of Public Works, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Huachuca generated a cost avoidance of more than $2 million annually. By applying innovation and new technology, the garrison's annual energy savings was 147,861 million BTUs per year. The initiatives also produced annual on-site energy generation of 33,914,222 kWh per year.

"This is our third year in a row winning an award and we are setting a precedence for Fort Huachuca being the star of energy within the Army," Porter said. "We are certainly proud about that, but there's a lot of hard work and a lot of people who are behind that. Even though the Energy Office did receive the award, the DPW as a whole contributed to us achieving this.

"We are going to continue to march in the direction of energy security to help the mission stay up and running under any circumstances," he added.

The awards program was established in 1979 to recognize installations, small groups, and individuals who make significant achievements in energy conservation and water management in support of Army readiness.

The program encourages stewardship of energy and water resources, promotes innovative and effective program management, and reinforces the importance of sound investments in energy and water facilities and infrastructure to improve mission readiness. It recognizes significant achievements in advancing the Army's energy and water program strategic goals, improving energy security and sustainability on Army installations.

In presenting the awards, Mr. Gillis and Brig. Gen. Curriera congratulated award winners for their leadership in federal service. Both cited accomplishments of this year's awardees are truly impressive. The Army has significantly improved energy resilience and reduced facility energy and water consumption on Army installations largely because of the initiative, innovation, and commitment of the award winners.

This commitment extends across the Federal government, and the Army is helping to lead the way in improving energy resilience, advancing energy efficiency, deploying renewable and alternative energy, improving water management and utility infrastructure, and reducing costs.