- Mission Support/Community Partnerships
- April 12, 2017
In the past couple of years, energy resilience has become a watchword for the military services as they adjust their focus from adopting renewables to reducing their installations’ vulnerability to disruptions in the electrical grid. Shaping the Army’s approach to enhancing resiliency are recent trends in energy production, distribution and economics that are creating more opportunities for installations to use a distributed generation approach to help reduce supply chain vulnerability, Michael McGhee, executive director of the Army Office of Energy Initiatives, told Defense Communities 360. Since its predecessor organization was created in 2011, OEI has pursued the development of large-scale renewable and alternative energy projects on Army installations. The service’s emphasis on resilience favors new projects which deploy resources that are behind an installation’s fence line and provide an islanding capability …READ MORE
The Army’s successful housing privatization initiative can be used as a model to guide future reforms of DOD’s real estate portfolio, two former high-ranking Army officials say in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal. “The program’s success shows how partnerships between business and the military can often achieve better outcomes than the military can achieve on its own. This is especially so when applied to the vast infrastructure that consumes more than $200 billion of today’s defense budget,” say Sandy Apgar, who served as assistant secretary of the Army for installations and environment from 1998-2001, and Jack Keane, who served as the Army’s vice chief of staff from 1999-2003. Apgar and Keane suggest that other assets, such as offices, warehousing and maintenance, could be monetized and their performance improved …READ MORE
Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James last week highlighted the service’s shift to a more comprehensive approach to meeting its energy goals that balances the need for cleaner sources of energy, a competitive cost and energy resiliency. The Air Force’s new approach will be carried out by the Office of Energy Assurance, which will develop privately financed, large-scale clean energy projects. The office, which was created in March, will leverage existing tools and authorities to procure large-scale energy projects, including power purchase agreements, direct funding and enhanced use leasing. “We are going to have to make sure there’s some money there. Like with any new approach you perhaps start on the smaller side and then you scale from there,” James said …READ MORE
The Army’s housing partner at Fort Hood is offering vacant homes to all renters, including those with no ties to the military, as the occupancy rate for the central Texas post’s family housing project has ticked down in recent years.
Currently, the occupancy rate for housing at Fort Hood is 88 percent for its 5,552 homes. “Our occupancy has been in the high 90s percentile for years, but has dipped down to the point where we’re offering it to other people,” said Brian Dosa, Fort Hood’s director of public works …
The Army Corps of Engineers Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville last week reached agreement with Baltimore, Md.-based Bithenergy on a $15 million renewable energy service agreement to build and operate a 3.1-megawatt solar array at Fort Campbell, Ky. The agreement marks the first small-scale contract awarded against the Huntsville Center’s renewable energy multiple-award task order contract. The 27-year RESA, which covers the second phase of a 5-megawatt array being built at Fort Campbell, is being funded through third-party financing and an $800,000 grant provided by the Energy Department’s Federal Energy Management Program …READ MORE