Secretary of the Army award given to Fort Riley

Published: Oct. 23, 2020 at 5:46 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Fort Riley has earned the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Energy Efficiency.

Fort Riley says staff from its Directorate of Public Works and Energy Branch managed to add up over $2.6 million in cost savings for the U.S. Army. It said the six-figure saving was part of what earned them the Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award for Energy Efficiency.

According to the military base, the 41st Annual Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards were announced in a ceremony given by the Honorable Alex A. Beehler, assistant secretary of U.S. Army Installations, Energy and Environment; and Daniel Klippstein, assistant deputy chief of staff, G-9 Headquarters. It said the ceremony was held virtually on Oct. 21.

Fort Riley said the ceremony did not lessen the impact of the DPW energy team achievement and according to the DPW Director, the resulting award was the culmination of more than just cost-consciousness on the job. It said the award also had to do with how the efforts to privatize the base’s utilities were handled and the benefits that will be evident in the future.

“This is a huge accomplishment,” said Jeff Williamson, Director of DPW. “The Energy savings performance contract coupled with the Utilities Privatization have culminated at a similar time frame bringing $1.3 billion to the Fort Riley utilities Infrastructure. While disparate actions, they have a common goal of energy and water efficiency. Both actions were originally scoped and planned in 2012 with the ESPC Phase I awarded in fiscal year 17, phase II in FY18 and phase III in FY 19 plus 3 of the 4 utilities – electric, water, wastewater and gas - distribution systems awarded in FY 18 and the gas awarded in FY19.”

According to Fort Riley, the contracts not only released the base from the burden of management and maintenance on the systems but with their implementation made a way to guarantee energy savings into the future.

“The ESPC is designed to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress paid for by the commodity savings,” Williamson said. “The UP contracts are to bring the distribution systems and plants up to code, resulting in safe and reliable utilities. As the contracts mature, we’ll see additional savings beyond the current 14.8% in energy intensity reduction and 10.2% in water reduction. Conserving Army resources ensures that we can focus resources on Readiness.”

Fort Riley said Hadassa Baker, an engineer with the Energy Branch said the significant savings included upgrades to about 280 facilities. It said she explained the varied individual projects included things such as replacing outdated heating, ventilation and air conditioning controls; updating one of the central chiller plants; updating boilers, installing energy-efficient lighting and efforts in water conservation all played a role.

According to the military base, the nomination package explained that the total future savings for the term of the contract are expected to be around 128,999,949,575 BTUs in energy and 37,815,000 gallons of water. It said this all adds up to around $92 million. It said additionally, the efforts also ensure disruptions can be fixed quickly.

“As the Army continues its focus on energy and water resilience, efficiency and affordability, we are very excited that our installation energy managers and stakeholders are also adapting to make smarter energy and water choices, ones that will not only save taxpayer dollars but more importantly allow installations to maintain critical operations during an unexpected grid outage,” Beehler said.

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