In addition to the updates to the heating plant for McCully Barracks, more than 2,500 high-efficiency solar modules were installed, with the goal of doubling overall renewable energy generation. The solar photovoltaics exceeded expectations— generating .730-MWh and adding .791-MW peak direct generation capability.
The original fluorescents at Wiesbaden were also in need of an update, as they needed continuous maintenance, which led to substantial operating and labor costs. To address this, the team replaced around 4,800 interior light fixtures with high-efficiency, low-maintenance LEDs and advanced lighting controls. The fixtures installed at Wiesbaden have a 15-year life span, superior illumination, are environmentally safe, produce virtually zero ultraviolet, turn on instantly, and reduce heat emission. LED lighting helped to reduce facility maintenance costs by an estimated $97,000 annually.
Innovation is not limited to technology alone. This ESPC was the first time that Siemens Government Technologies used local international currency on a U.S. federal project.
Working with a team of financing experts, including representatives from DZ Bank and United Financial of Illinois, the use of euros afforded a natural currency hedge at the lowest available market rate, saving the garrison over $3.5 million in interest cost and two years in financing term. Reduced interest cost and a shorter term means more energy efficiency and resiliency buying power, which directly contributes toward Army equipment modernization efforts and carbon reduction goals. With a fully financed project that includes engineering, procurement, installation, warranty, and maintenance planning for the 21-year term, the initiative also reduces the staff time dedicated to maintenance and servicing, freeing up resources to address other pressing priorities.
The Army’s recently released Climate Strategy includes three lines of effort and a host of intermediate objectives to ensure that the service will be resilient and sustainable into the future. With ambitious targets that include a microgrid on every installation by 2035, 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2030, and a 50 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from buildings by 2032, there is considerable work to do with little time.
A key concern to meet these goals, however, is funding. As the Wiesbaden project demonstrated, ESPCs are an effective means to initiate infrastructure modernization and energy efficiency efforts absent designated funding and should be used to help the Army meet its critically important climate goals. The early success of this project is being modeled as a means for the Army to leverage ESPCs for its goals to address infrastructure deficiencies, while implement- ing higher-efficiency, low-emission, self-generation power solutions that lead to greater resiliency and lower maintenance burdens.
Mike House, M.SAME, is Vice President, Infrastructure & Energy Solutions, Siemens Government Technologies; firstname.lastname@example.org.