By Jennifer AldridgeSeptember 21, 2012
HEIDELBERG, Germany --Installation Management Command Europe garrisons consume 5,263,221 kilowatt-hours of energy each day; roughly enough to power Yankee Stadium five times. Staggering statistics, have led top Department of Defense leaders to seek out secure, uninterrupted access to power, energy and water to improve military installation security and conserve natural resources.
The Honorable Ms. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment traveled to Europe this month to deliver a keynote presentation at the IMCOM-E Energy Symposium. The symposium brought garrison commanders, energy managers and experts from the public and private sector together to develop creative solutions to the Army's complex energy challenges.
There is no longer unlimited availability of abundant, affordable fossil fuels or water, Hammack said.
"Without energy the Army stands still and silent," Hammack said.
The Army has the opportunity to integrate renewable and alternative energy sources in order to avoid potential energy interruptions caused by acts of nature, threats of man or age, Hammack said.
"We have access to sources of energy that are just as infinite as we consider the Army's mission to be," she said. "We need to continue to figure out how we can generate reliable power onsite using natural resources."
The Army has an opportunity to leverage private investments to reduce energy consumption and generate power through Energy Savings Performance Contracts, Power Purchase Agreements and other performance contracting tools, Hammack explained.
An ESPC or PPA is an agreement between the government and an energy services company. The agreement is a tool to improve Army energy efficiency--by reducing energy use and costs--through private investments.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Europe District is developing contract vehicles necessary to provide these energy efficiency tools in response to growing demand. To support IMCOM-E and installations located in Germany, Italy and BENELUX, the district anticipates awarding ESPCs to reduce energy use and costs, and generate renewable and alternative energy in fiscal year 2013.
IMCOM-E installations have shown a lot of interest in ESPCs but also seem reluctant because it is not a traditional contracting method, said Jeff Puffer, a Honeywell business development leader and symposium participant.
"We see a lot of garrisons are uncertain whether they could or should do this," he said. "This is a proven process that leadership fully supports, as demonstrated by Ms. Hammack's attendance here today.
"The Corps of Engineers is very well versed, very competent in performance contracting. The same processes apply in Europe."
IMCOM-E Regional Director, Kathleen Marin said, the region needs to take a quantum leap forward in energy reduction.
"As the Army's home in Europe, our team has accepted the challenge of creating an energy and environmental portfolio of the future-now," she said.
While IMCOM-E installations have decreased energy intensity -- energy per square-foot of building -- by 16 percent since 2003 there is work to be done to meet DoD and host nation greenhouse gas emissions, water usage, and energy reduction goals. During the energy symposium, experts discussed the contracting tools and emerging technologies available to reach the ultimate goal of net zero -- producing as much energy as is consumed onsite in a year.
Recovering landfill gas, installing radiant heat panels, swapping out florescent lights for light emitting diodes (LEDs) and adding solar panels are a few of the technologies being employed by IMCOM-E installations.
Melanie Chabelle, U.S. Army Garrison BENELUX energy manager explained, her strategy is to budget for and implement low-cost changes first in order to meet Army reduction requirements.
"I am installing LED lights, circulator pumps and water-free urinals," she said. "Also, the Corps is helping to install a solar project that will begin shortly."
At USAG Wiesbaden's Clay Kaserne, the district managed the retrofitting and installation of a radiant heating panel system in hanger 1035. The panels reduce heating costs up to 50 percent and electricity costs up to 10 percent, are lightweight and easy to install, and have a life expectancy of more than 30 years.
"The project will provide $28,000 in annual savings after a four-year payback period," said Dr. Klaus Menge of Frenger Systemen BV, the project contractor.
Despite the unique challenges of complying with U.S. and host nation regulations and policies, IMCOM-E installations are committed to planning, budgeting for and executing energy efficiency and production projects to ensure future security and sustainability.
"USACE is here, with local expertise, capabilities and tools to support the garrisons' goal to achieve net-zero energy, water and waste," said Tammie Stouter, a district project manager. "We are collectively responsible for protecting natural resources for future generations."