Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Live from AUSA – “Energy and the Environment for an Expeditionary Army”

BG Al Aycock, Deputy Commanding General, Army Installation Management Command, along with other panelists, reviewed the first year accomplishments of the Army Senior Energy Council (SEC).

“Assured access to reliable, affordable and stable energy supplies remains a significant challenge for the Army,” said BG Aycock.

Energy security means preventing the loss of power (surety), ensuring resilience in energy systems (survivability), accessing renewable energy on installations (supply), providing adequate power for critical missions (sufficiency), and promoting support for the Army’s mission, its community, and the environment (sustainability

To improve installations’ energy security posture, IMCOM is committed to:

-- Modernizing energy and utility infrastructure to improve reliability
-- Incorporating system redundancy for mission assurance
-- Developing renewable energy supplies to reduce dependence on fossil fuel
-- Maintaining disaster recovery preparedness

“IMCOM has worked hard on energy sustainability. We have partnered with the Department of Defense and performed energy assessments of 13 installations,” Aycock explained. “We are currently looking for opportunities for renewable energy resources across our installations.”

The issue of energy security has become increasingly important to the nation and the mission of the Department of Defense. An outcome on this issue of energy security for our garrisons has been addressed in the Army Energy Security Implementation Strategy. This strategy balances current legislation and policies against the need to deliver a comprehensive solution for energy security.

BG Aycock summarized the five key characteristics that have been developed into energy security goals. Achievement of theses Energy Security Goals should improve the energy security posture for the Army installations as well as comply with federal energy regulations and Army energy policies. The ESGs are:

-- ESG 1 – Reduce energy consumption
-- ESG 2 – Increase efficiency across platforms and facilities
-- ESG 3 – Increase use of renewable energy
-- ESG 4 – Assure access to sufficient energy supply
-- ESG 5 – Reduce adverse impacts on the environment

Meeting the energy management challenges of the Army is the largest organizational change since World War II. To address the energy management challenge, IMCOM centrally funds enterprise programs.

Centrally funded programs provide standard set of services
Programs driven by federal legislation, Executive Orders and Department of the Army Policy
Programs provide technical assistance to energy managers
Program deliverables identify energy savings projects and costs
Programs are available for installations across the globe

The enterprise approach also directs IMCOM’s efforts to increase the use of renewable energy. IMCOM has partnered with the Department of Energy to conduct detailed analyses of the potential for electricity generation at selected U.S. Army installations; completed 13 assessments, 6 scheduled for FY10; identified economically feasible opportunities for generation of electricity from renewable supply that is significant enough to warrant connection to the grid and/or to contribute in a meaningful way to the aggressive renewable energy goals of the Army and the Department of Defense.

Existing renewable projects completed to date include Ft. Drum Solar Wall, Ft. Huachuca Photovoltaic Roof, Ft. Knox Ground Source Heat Pump, Ft. Jackson Fuel Cells, Ft. Carson Solar Array and Ft. Stewart Biomass Plant. Future renewable projects, such as the one at Ft. Irwin, located in California, will improve the energy security of the installation through the construction and management of the largest solar power project proposed to date within the Department of Defense. Solar energy Enhanced Use Leasing will entail a flexible, phased, multi-technology approach to delivering up to 500 megawatts (MW) of power generation.

Ft. Greeley, Alaska, is just one energy security success story that BG Aycock noted. Through an investment strategy to recapitalize the Army’s utilities infrastructure (electric, natural gas, water and wastewater) and bring systems up to current industry standards, the following energy transformation has occurred:

Increased reliability through new 138 KV Transmission Line and Substation
New substation is energized to provide 20 MW capability vice having 5.5MW capacity produced by old diesel generators
Replaced a 50-year old transformer and 50-year old switchgear which will reduce maintenance and power outages
Reduced reliance on fossil fuel

Energy must be readily available to support Army missions. IMCOM is committed to improving the Army’s energy security posture by reducing Army energy consumption, increasing energy efficiency in our facilities and promoting the use of new sources of renewable energy supplies.

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