News: Assistant secretary addresses USACE leader’s conference
Story by Dennis Bohannon
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment met with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Aug. 7, at their Leadership Conference in Little Rock, Ark.
Hon. Katherine Hammack, ASA (IE&E), discussed enhancing mission effectiveness through Army Power and Energy advancements, Army initiatives, energy and design standards, USACE support, metering on installations, the Net Zero initiative and Operational Energy.
She told the approximately 300 leadership conference attendees, “Mission effectiveness requires secure, uninterrupted access to power, energy and water.” She noted, “Today, mission effectiveness is at risk due to our dependence on increasingly expensive fossil fuels and a singular reliance on fragile and vulnerable infrastructures.”
Hammack said she had read the Corps’ Military Missions Strategic Direction and portfolio of initiatives, in which they introduced the concept of “Solutioneering.” She said, “A Solutioneer is defined as someone who examines a situation, explores its possibilities, determines solutions and effectively actions them to completion.”
“That is what USACE has done in the past and what we will need from you, even more in the future, if we are to truly enhance mission effectiveness. As we work together to enhance the Army’s mission effectiveness, we will not need only your engineering skills and technical expertise, but your creativity, adaptability and ability to understand and find solutions to complex issues,” Hammack told the engineers.
Hammack complimented the Corps on their recent achievements, to include her pride in the facilities that exhibit quality design and construction leadership, which USACE provides. She told the corps, “You have had a tremendous role in advancing energy policies for the Army; clarifying building and design standards, and Army Policy for L-E-D exterior and interior lighting.”
“You are also developing a catalog of energy use intensities for different facility types to establish improved energy targets that are measured, in order to design, build and operate buildings that are Net-zero energy ready.”
In looking to the future, Hammack said we would need to work closely to establish aggressive, but life-cycle cost effective targets on new – and most importantly – existing buildings. “We must optimize the point between saving energy and saving money.”
She said, “We need to continue to study possible impacts of updated design construction and renovation standards and codes in an attempt to remain current and up-to-date. Some of these designs must incorporate renewable energy.”
“Renewable energy is critical to having a resilient supply of on-base energy,” Hammack said. She emphasized, “The Army has over 170 renewable energy projects on-line, with a capacity of approximately 21.9 Megawatts. Contracts signed in the first part of fiscal year 12 will add an additional 10.3 Megawatts of renewable electric capacity.”
“To maximize the renewable energy potential of the entire Army portfolio, in September 2011 the Energy Initiatives Task Force – or E-I-T-F, was created to actively develop large scale renewable projects. The EITF has since built a robust project development pipeline, through which more than 180 potential projects are being evaluated. The Army’s goal is 1 gigawatt of installed capacity by 2025. We are on target with four projects released for bid in FY 12 totaling 105 Megawatts,” she said.
Hammack told the Corps leaders, “I’ve been extremely pleased with USACE’s support to the EITF. You have not only provided us with experts to work directly on our team, but with Huntsville’s assistance in developing our key acquisition strategy and tools.”
“This morning, the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, issued a Multiple Award Task Order Contract Request for Proposal for $7 billion in shared capacity contracts to procure reliable, locally generated, renewable and alternative energy through power purchase agreements or other contractual equivalents. The $7 billion capacity would be expended for the purchase of energy over a period of 30 years or less from renewable energy plants that are constructed and operated by contractors using private sector financing,” Hammack said.
In closing, Hammack cited the corps’ historic past, noting that on this date (Aug. 7) in 1789 the Office of the secretary for the Department of War was established by the president. Later, the Department of War was designated the Department of the Army, and the Corps of Engineers was one of the four original departments to help support the operations of the Army.
She also noted that Lt. Gen. Tom Bostick, the Army’s chief of engineering and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had shown a few “headlines” on what success might look like in the year 2020. She said, “I view our headline for 2020 as “The Army achieves more resilient, mission effective installations.”
She said, “Today you continue a fine tradition. Your engineering and management support to military installations, your global real estate support and your energy and efficiencies contracting support are invaluable to today’s Army.”