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DEFENSE COMMUNITIES 360

Committee Wants Specifics on Army’s Net Zero Initiative

  • June 29, 2011
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To help the Army’s Net Zero Installation initiative remain on track, the Senate Armed Services Committee is asking the service to prepare a proposed investment plan for implementing the program.

The committee said it supports the initiative’s goals, but stressed that its 2020 target “is ambitious and requires the concerted effort of key decision makers in the department guided by some sort of plan,” according to its report accompanying the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill the panel approved June 17. The Army will use a variety of mechanisms to carry out the initiative, including energy savings performance contracts, utility partnerships, utility energy savings contracts, privatization and appropriations, the report said.

The Army should work to achieve the program’s goals “in a cost-effective manner without undermining the operational effectiveness of DOD facilities,” the committee stated.

By Feb. 1, 2012, the Army should submit a plan to Congress for funding and other resources needed to carry out the plan, including a funding timeline.

In April, the Army selected 17 installations to participate in its pilot Net Zero initiative, including six in each of the energy, water and waste categories and two integrated sites striving to reach net zero consumption across all three categories. A net zero installation is one that produces as much as it uses for a particular resource, such as energy, over the course of a year.

Under a separate initiative, DOD formed a task force earlier this year with the Energy Department to study net zero energy installation pilot sites for each service. That exercise is intended to create a repeatable template for installations to assess their potential for energy conservation, renewable energy production and improved energy security, according to the committee report.

The report, S. Rpt. 112-26, is available on Thomas. The bill is S. 1253.

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