Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate
The United States Department of Energy honored the Army Reserve with two Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) Awards this year.
The 9th Mission Support Command and Paul Wirt, Chief of Army Reserve Sustainability Programs, were among 27 FEMP Award winners.
Jared Corsi, Bryan Morris, Amy Solana, Benjamin Spiker and Christina Vicari received a Program Award for conservation efforts at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center in Maui, Hawaii in the 9th Mission Support Command.
Between fiscal years 2015 and 2016, the 9th Mission Support Command reduced energy consumption at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center by 36 percent. Improved lighting and climate control systems conserved energy, and a 99 kilowatt solar array provided renewable power. The center also reduced water consumption by 70 percent, compared to the 2007 baseline. Irrigation controls achieved a 60 percent reduction in water use in only one year.
The 9th Mission Support Command’s projects at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center have many benefits for the Army Reserve. Maui is located on a vulnerable, environmentally sensitive island that relies on fuel imports. Energy conservation reduces Hawaii’s dependence on foreign oil, increases its energy security and even reduces the state’s emissions by 176 tons of carbon dioxide every year. The initiatives build a comfortable and efficient facility for Soldiers and their civilian support force. And, they provide an estimated cost avoidance of nearly $105,000 every year.
For First Lieutenant Spiker, the FEMP award firmly establishes the 9th Mission Support Command as a model of sustainability for the entire Army Reserve. Spiker, the facility manager at Kaoru Moto Army Reserve Center, called the honor “prestigious” and “a huge achievement.” “The award is a motivator to build on what we have accomplished here and to share our knowledge, so others can follow in our footsteps,” he said. “For a single facility that is so far from Washington [D.C.], recognition at [the federal level] is unbelievable and really shows that the actions that we take toward energy conservation matter in the big picture.”
Vicari, Energy Manager for the 9th Mission Support Command, shared Spiker’s sentiments. “All of the hard work and coordination involved in moving these projects forward has succeeded,” she said. “The award proves the possibilities of creating energy efficient facilities and saving money in the long run for American taxpayers. It reminds me that, as far as the target may seem in the beginning, we can achieve this for other sites, project by project. For the team as a whole, and especially for those that are new to energy, it may plant a seed as to the viability of energy projects.”
Wirt was one of five honorees to garner a Career Exceptional Performance Award.
Wirt’s career in sustainability with the Army has spanned many years, from Chief of Environmental Management with the Directorate of Public Works at Fort Bragg, North Carolina to his current position with the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate.
Wirt has guided strategic and effective energy, water, solid waste and environmental quality programs that promote a culture of resource-conscious Soldiers, Civilians and Families throughout the Army Reserve. He has been instrumental in developing a Building Energy Monitor Program; managing the Army Reserve’s Net Zero sites; implementing a comprehensive facility evaluation process; and initiating an Enterprise Building Control System to increase energy efficiency at sites across the enterprise.
The Army Reserve has achieved significant successes under Wirt’s tutelage. From fiscal year 2015 to 2016, the enterprise reduced its energy use intensity by 17.9 percent – the most of any land holding command in the Department of the Army – for a cost avoidance of $6.7 million, or the cost of nine training missions. The Army Reserve has also reduced its potable water consumption by 44 percent since 2007.
Wirt shared his accolade with his colleagues and affirmed the lasting impacts of their efforts. “This award is a tremendous honor and a testimony to the dedication of our sustainability team and all of the energy and water champions across the Army Reserve,” he said. “I am fortunate to work with an outstanding group of professionals and leaders who provide the essential support to affect real change while drastically reducing our consumption and realizing significant cost avoidance. By embracing a collective vision to change our organizational culture and make our facilities across the world more energy and water secure, the Army Reserve has embraced mission resiliency.”
The Department of Energy will present the FEMP awards in a ceremony on November 2, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
Greg Vallery, the Director of Public Works at Fort Hunter Liggett, is a winner of the 2017 FEDS Spotlight Award.
Fort Hunter Liggett is a United States Army Reserve-funded installation near Jolon, California.
The FEDS Spotlight Award is a new initiative of the United States Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP). FEMP launched and presented the awards at the Energy Exchange conference in Tampa, Florida in August 2017.
Winners hailed from 16 federal agencies including the Department of Defense, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Records and Archives Administration, the Department of the Interior, the Department of Justice, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Vallery was one of 31 winners in the inaugural round of awards and one of two professionals from the Department of the Army to receive the accolade.
Federal agencies and FEMP personnel selected the recipients, who were described as “energy champions who embody the principles of efficient and innovative energy, water and fleet management by connecting, collaborating and conserving.”
FEMP honored Vallery for his work to establish Fort Hunter Liggett as one of the Army’s first Net Zero sites. During his tenure as Director of Public Works, Vallery has collaborated with the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to install eight megawatts of solar systems on post. He has partnered with other national laboratories, the United States Army Corps of Engineers – Huntsville’s Center of Excellence, the Electric Power Research Institute and local utility providers to implement numerous projects that will reduce Fort Hunter Liggett’s dependence on the municipal grid and bolster the installation’s energy security for years to come.
With Vallery’s dedication and innovation, Fort Hunter Liggett leads the Army Reserve in energy and water conservation and efficiency. The installation reduced its energy use intensity by 30 percent
between fiscal year 2003 and 2015 and potable water use intensity by 57 percent between fiscal year 2007 and 2015. Renewable technologies produce nearly 30 percent of the power on post.
As a Command, the Army Reserve reduced its energy use intensity by 17.9 percent between fiscal year 2015 and 2016 for a cost avoidance of $6.7 million, or the level of funding to produce nine training missions.
“It is truly an honor to have been nominated and selected by my fellow colleagues,” said Vallery. “The collaborative team for the Army Reserve is pushing forward for our installations and facilities
to be resilient and sustainable in supporting readiness of the warfighter.”
Energy conservation and efficiency initiatives ensure that the Army Reserve’s Soldiers have the energy that they need – where they need it and when they need it, today and tomorrow, at Fort Hunter Liggett and around the world.