Demand Management, Energy Efficiency, Microgrids - June 11, 2018
Fort Huachuca to upgrade energy efficiency
Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army installation near Sierra Vista, Ariz., has begun a project to improve energy security, resiliency, and efficiency across its facilities. The $24 million project is expected to reduce energy costs by 23% per year and will generate nearly $63 million in savings over 23 years. Construction will begin in January 2019 and be complete by early 2020.
The project calls for the installation of a 4 MW combined heat & power (CHP) plant driven by natural gas. "CHP plants offer considerable benefits by capturing heat that would otherwise be wasted from electricity generation and utilizing it to serve thermal loads," according to a statement from Schneider Electric, which will be responsible for the installation performance of the system. They noted, "The project will serve as the foundation for a future microgrid solution and benefits the Army by reducing energy costs, progressing energy resiliency, diversifying the energy supply and supporting Army and federal energy policies."
The project is being financed through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC), where utility and operational savings are used to fund the improvements. Savings will come primarily from the CHP plant, as well as other measures to improve energy efficiency, including retrofitted interior and exterior lighting systems with LED technology and occupancy controls; programmable thermostats to allow for reduction of equipment run-time; demand-controlled ventilation, which enables micro-level control of equipment according to occupancy.