Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico- The Honorable Katherine Hammack, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, toured Army energy saving projects in Puerto Rico, Sept. 28.

During her visit, Hammack met with US Army Reserve-Puerto Rico Commanding General Brig. Gen. Fernando Fernandez and members of the Fort Buchanan installation, to receive updates on the status of US Army energy sustainability initiatives around the island.

"Through technology and policies we are reducing our energy footprint and leveraging private financing to accelerate efficiency projects. We are building resilience through Renewable and Alternative Energy," said the Hammack.

The Army Reserve has been renovating its infrastructure in the island with new buildings that meet the highest environmental requirements, as a result of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) of 2005.

Hammack visited the new Reserve Center in Ceiba, which is one of the environmental friendly structures built by the Army on the island, with a Gold classification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED).

LEED is a rating system developed by the US Green Building Council that provides a framework for builders and owners to identify and implement practical, measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance.

Hammack also observed several energy saving projects at Fort Buchanan, to include Photovoltaic Panels, for power generation.

"I believe the Army is doing a great job in Puerto Rico improving our environmental footprint and achieving energy efficiency," added Hammack.

The U.S. Army has 10 active projects in Puerto Rico, including wind generation and solar photovoltaic power generation that will save more than $2.6 million and 37,880 MBTU when complete. The projects are scheduled to be completed by January 2014.

Another seven projects that are expected to save $1,083,608 and achieve Net Zero Water usage are nearing contract award. The construction is expected to begin within the first three months of fiscal year 2013.

The initiative Net Zero focuses on a comprehensive management of energy, water and waste in order to capture and commercialize the resource value and/or enhance the ecological productivity of land, water and air.

"Our command appreciates and values the relationship between our mission, the community and the environment. Assuming our responsibility as the largest federal US Army command in the Caribbean, the Army Reserve-Puerto Rico promotes pollution prevention, improves environmental management technologies, implements energy and water conservation and complies with all laws, regulations, and executive orders, in close coordination with Fort Buchanan," said Fernandez.