Powering a greener future
Posted by LT Stephanie Young, Sunday, April 22, 2012
Yesterday Compass shared with you an overview of Coast Guard-wide energy initiatives and how the service is aggressively pursuing energy efficiency and fuel conservation strategies ashore and afloat. Because today is Earth Day, we’re sharing one more story about Coast Guard units in the 7th Coast Guard District “going green.”
Written by Andrea Snyder, Coast Guard Office of Energy Management.
Comprehensive energy-efficiency improvements are currently being implemented at eleven Coast Guard sites across Florida through collaborative efforts between the Coast Guard and a local utility. The project, which is slated for completion in September 2012, spans almost 400 miles and covers 42 buildings. When complete, the project is estimated to reduce annual electricity consumption by 19 percent, natural gas requirements by 21 percent and water demands by 64 percent.
With two Miami-area Coast Guard locations classified as large energy consumers, the project was identified as a prime candidate for significant energy savings. In addition, commitment from local command, results from existing energy audits, an experienced Coast Guard acquisition team and an enthusiastic utility partner provided an opportune environment for the project to materialize.
Initially, the project scope included three locations: Base Support Unit Miami, Air Station Miami and the Civil Engineering Unit Miami. Leveraging lessons learned from prior multi-site projects, the acquisition team collaborated closely with the local utility partner to include eight additional Coast Guard locations through energy conservation measures identified by investment grade audits performed by the utility.
The conservation measures were tailored to both the need and ongoing maintenance capabilities of each new site to ensure continued performance throughout the contract term. The scope was carefully refined throughout the project development schedule to address existing backlog operations and maintenance projects that were incorporated into the project to avoid an additional procurement action.
After solid project planning and prudent selection of potential sites and partners, the Coast Guard Office of Energy Management awarded a utility energy services contract for the project in September 2011.
By using this type of contract, the local utility is funding the capital costs associated with the project and will be reimbursed by the energy-savings produced over the life of the contract term. This unique financing strategy is the first for the Civil Engineering Unit Miami area of responsibility and will allow the Coast Guard to accomplish more than $6 million of capital improvements with only 25 percent upfront capital contribution.
According to Daniel Gore, the Coast Guard’s energy program manager, the service is actively pursuing utility energy services contracts as well as other alternatively financed project models. “Because we don’t have the capital budget of the Department of Defense organizations, we have to explore more creative avenues to reduce energy consumption and meet our mandated energy targets. Through the dedication and teamwork of the CEU, legal, contracting and energy personnel, we were able to award a project that significantly reduces our energy footprint and improves our facilities.”
Through continual refinement, the project reached a comprehensive portfolio of twenty-one energy conservation measures that will include boiler plant improvements, enhancements to building automation systems, lighting retrofits, building envelope modifications, water and sewer conservation, rate adjustments and energy awareness.