By Mr James W Campbell (USACE)December 19, 2011
The main component of this Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) project is a third-party owned 1.35 megawatt solar photovoltaic system to be installed on the Army's largest post. This is the first Army PV project acquired using an energy services agreement contained within an ESPC.
The 1.35 MW PV system qualifies for the 30 percent federal cash grant ($1.87 million) for renewable energy installations. This project also includes two smaller 114 kilowatt solar photovoltaic systems located in training areas, utility monitoring and controls system improvements and a demand limiting program. The contract term is 24 years.
"I hope this is the first of many of these type projects under an ESPC," said Michael Norton, branch chief of Huntsville Center's Energy Division.
ESPC is a partnership between the Army and an energy service contractor. In consultation with the customer, the the contractor 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.
This project supports President Barack Obama's directive that federal agencies use ESPC to make $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next two years, as well as supporting the Army's renewable energy goals.
"We hope to be energy efficient by 2015," said Jean Offutt, the Fort Bliss Garrison public affairs officer. "Anything being done to support that initiative is good news for us."
The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, supports very specialized missions that require unique technical expertise in programs that are generally national or very broad in scope. The Center supports tasks not normally accomplished by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers element; tasks that require a centralized management structure, integrated facilities or systems that cross geographic division boundaries; and tasks that require commonality, standardization, multiple-site adaption or technology transfers.