ARMY RESERVE SUSTAINABILITY PROFESSIONALS PARTICIPATE IN ENERGY SUMMIT

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough
Strategic Communicator, Army Reserve Sustainability Programs

Paul SSCES Quote

Two sustainability professionals from the United States Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate participated in the 2018 Sandhills Clean Energy Summit on March 9 and 10 near Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Paul Wirt, Chief of the Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch, delivered the event’s key note speech. Heather Brown, Senior Sustainability Advisor, delivered a presentation on renewable energy projects in the Army Reserve.

The Sandhills Clean Energy Summit is an initiative of Sustainable Sandhills, a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability on and in the region surrounding Fort Bragg.

Now in its fourth year, the Sandhills Clean Energy Summit featured participants from the State of North Carolina, North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association, University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Fayetteville Public Works Commission, Fayetteville Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, Fort Bragg Directorate of Public Works, Duke Energy, and Sierra Club.

Hanah Ehrenreich, Executive Director of Sustainable Sandhills, chose the Army Reserve to join such an esteemed group of participants because the Command has developed a far-reaching reputation for cutting-edge programs and notable accomplishments.

“The Sandhills region of North Carolina is a hub for military- and community-led sustainability planning,” she said. “The Army Reserve has demonstrated leadership in sustainability that supports Army infrastructure, clean technology, and mission readiness.”

Sustainable Sandhills has personal connections to the Army Reserve as well. When Wirt was Chief of the Environmental Management Branch at Fort Bragg’s Directorate of Public Works, his team was instrumental in the development and implementation of Sustainable Sandhills as an integral part of the installation’s sustainability initiative. Brown served as Development Director for the organization from December 2007 until December 2010.

For Wirt and Brown, the Sandhills Clean Energy Summit was a prime opportunity to impart the Army Reserve’s successes, share its innovative approaches with a broad audience, and build important partnerships with community agencies.

“Energy and water are critical to nearly every aspect of the Army Reserve’s mission,” said Wirt. “Yet, we face many threats to our resources. We must secure our energy and water assets, for now and for the future. Clean energy will be a key component of our holistic initiatives, as we push the Army Reserve toward true resilience and even energy and water independence. We were pleased to share our energy and water visions with our colleagues in sustainability at this event, and we were especially honored to do so in the Fort Bragg community, which could be considered the ‘cradle of sustainability’ for the entire Army.”

“Almost 800 Army Reserve Centers are located in communities across the country,” Brown added. “It is imperative that we maintain strong relationships with community organizations such as Sustainable Sandhills to ensure that we are good neighbors and stewards. These communities support the Army Reserve with Soldiers, their Families, and their resources. We’re all ultimately striving to reach one goal: to be sustainable and resilient in the face of ever-changing challenges. By sharing successes, lessons learned, and expertise with each other, we are building enduring relationships that benefit both the Army Reserve and the communities that we serve.”

At the Sandhills Clean Energy Summit, Addison “Tad” Davis introduced Wirt as the key note presenter. Davis is the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Installations and the Environment. He is also a founding and current member of the Sustainable Sandhills Board of Directors.

Wirt and Brown discussed the Army Reserve’s multifaceted energy and water security efforts in their presentations. In accordance with its Energy Security and Water Security Implementation Strategies, the Command is striving to reduce its energy and water use, increase its energy and water efficiency, leverage renewable and alternative energy and water sources, and create a culture of resource-conscious Soldiers, Civilians, and Families. The Army Reserve as a whole reduced its energy use intensity by 17.7 percent in fiscal year 2017, compared to the fiscal year 2015 baseline, and it has reduced its water use intensity by 43 percent since fiscal year 2007. Advanced technologies such as automated building controls and rainwater harvesting pilots improved the energy and water efficiency of its facilities. Eighty renewable energy projects – including solar arrays and wind turbines – generated nearly 48 million British Thermal Units of power for the enterprise last year.

The Army Reserve’s energy and water initiatives will bolster the Command’s energy and water security and enhance its readiness. According to Ehrenreich, the enterprise’s achievements and lessons learned will also contribute to the cause of clean energy throughout the state of North Carolina.

“North Carolina has great capacity for solar, wind, and biogas energy production,” she explained. “At the Clean Energy Summit this year, we focused on the goal of 100 percent clean, renewable energy by 2050. The military has directly experienced the benefits of implementing renewable technologies in garrisons, and the use of renewable technologies has reduced and prevented security impacts across the globe. We were excited to learn best management practices from the Army Reserve.”

Visit sustainablesandhills.org for more information about sustainability in the Fort Bragg region.

ARMY RESERVE SUSTAINABILITY PROGRAMS BRANCH DELIVERS ANNUAL COMMAND BRIEF

Story by Jonelle Kimbrough, Strategic Communicator
Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

The United States Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch delivered their annual command brief to Mr. Jordan Gillis, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and the Environment, on February 14, 2018.

The presentation covered the Army Reserve’s accomplishments in energy, water, solid waste management and environmental quality in fiscal year 2017 and defined a “path forward” for the future. Featured projects included Integrated Strategic and Sustainability Planning, energy and water security investments, and awareness initiatives.

The brief lauded the Command’s achievements. Notably, the enterprise achieved a 17.7 percent reduction in energy use intensity in fiscal year 2017, compared to the fiscal year 2015 baseline. The reduction translates into a cost avoidance of over $6 million, or the cost of nine named training missions. The Army Reserve has also reduced its water use intensity by 43 percent, compared to the 2007 baseline.

According to Paul Wirt, Chief of the Army Reserve Sustainability Programs Branch, the Command’s sustainability initiatives have been successful because the Army Reserve focuses on “true” sustainability. “The Army Reserve maintains comprehensive and integrated strategies for every program through execution plans that establish a systematic, deliberate path to success,” he explained. Wirt also praised a dedicated staff and an engaged field, referring to their “passion and commitment to make the Army Reserve the very best it can be.”

In the years to come, readiness and mission resilience will be the primary focus of Army Reserve sustainability efforts. Wirt sees the future as an opportunity to incorporate sustainable practices holistically across the entire Command. “We want to achieve a conservation mindset, reduce consumption, increase cost avoidance, harness new technology, meet Federal reduction standards and become Net Zero wherever possible,” Wirt said.  “But, our top priority is to posture our critical facilities for energy and water security and independence. Ultimately, we need to operate for long periods of time – if not indefinitely – off the grid so that the Army Reserve can best mobilize, train and deploy our nation’s fighting force today, tomorrow and forever.”

Megaphone

ARMY RESERVE LEADS THE CHARGE TOWARD ENERGY SECURITY

wind-turbines
According to the Global Energy Statistical Yearbook 2016, the United States is one of the leading consumers of energy in the world, and the Federal government is the leading consumer of energy in the United States. Furthermore, the Department of Defense is the leading consumer of energy in the Federal government, and the Army is the leading consumer of installation energy in the Department of Defense. In fact, the Army consumes 34 percent of the Department of Defense’s installation energy at a cost of over $1.2 billion annually.

For the United States Army Reserve, energy touches almost every aspect of the mission. From the power required to operate its facilities to the fuel required to operate its vehicles, the Army Reserve’s battle rhythm – both at home and down range – is dependent upon this crucial asset. Without energy, life would come to a halt.

However, threats to energy are constantly on the rise. The increasing worldwide demands for energy, the political and economic instabilities in oil-producing regions, the impacts of attacks against oil infrastructure and the effects of natural disasters all endanger invaluable resources.

Since the Army Reserve has a global “bootprint,” energy crises across the world could create conflicts that have the potential to influence military objectives. Energy affects the welfare of our Soldiers, too. Fuel convoys are among the most dangerous duties for war fighters. The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) estimates that, historically, fuel and water transport missions are responsible for nearly ten percent of Army casualties in theater.

If a disruption of our vital energy supplies did occur, what would happen to the military, its infrastructure and its mission? Could the enterprise survive “off the grid?” The Army Reserve hopes that those questions will never need an answer. Nevertheless, the Army Reserve Energy Program is striving to ensure its energy security.

The International Energy Agency defines energy security as the “uninterrupted availability of energy at an affordable price.” For the Army Reserve, energy security also means that its Installations, Regional Support Commands and Mission Support Command are ready to answer the nation’s call – even in the face of a local, national or global energy emergency.

To that end, the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate developed the Army Reserve Energy Security Implementation Strategy (ARESIS). The strategy creates a vision, mission and goals that, when accomplished, will ultimately achieve energy security for the enterprise.

The first ARESIS goal is to promote energy conservation, or the reduction of the Army Reserve’s energy use, to ensure that resources are resilient and that the enterprise directs supplies to the most critical aspects of missions. Education and awareness initiatives create an informed, conservation-minded culture of Soldiers, Civilians and Families.

The second ARESIS goal is to increase energy efficiency through diverse projects. For instance, several sites throughout the Army Reserve have significantly reduced their energy consumption – by as much as 85 percent – by replacing fluorescent lights with light emitting diodes. Over 780 meters monitor energy consumption at 410 Army Reserve facilities, thus allowing Energy Managers and project coordinators to identify trends in energy use and areas where energy efficiency can be improved. With automated controls for applications such as thermostats and lights, buildings are operating at their peak efficiencies.

The third ARESIS goal is to leverage alternative and renewable energy through solar, wind and other sources of clean power. As of the third quarter of fiscal year 2016, 62 Army Reserve renewable energy projects were reporting in the Army Energy and Water Reporting System (AEWRS). Two Reserve-funded installations – Fort Buchanan and Fort Hunter Liggett – are top performers in this area, generating 45.3 percent and 43.4 percent of their energy from renewable technologies, respectively.

The fourth ARESIS goal is to build a sustainable energy program foundation. The Army Reserve is engaging senior leaders in the development and deployment of energy policies, and it is building valuable partnerships with agencies that support sustainability within and beyond the fence lines. The Army Reserve is also securing human and financial capital. Energy Managers, Resource Efficiency Managers and Building Energy Monitors act as the “eyes” and “ears” of the Army Reserve Energy Program in the field. Energy professionals across the enterprise implement energy projects with appropriated funds from the Federal government and funds from third-party programs such as Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC), which pair Federal agencies with energy service companies. Agencies have used the ESPC contracting vehicle since 1998 to reduce energy costs and meet Executive Orders toward sustainability.

Moreover, the Army Reserve is pursuing Net Zero, or working to produce as much energy as it consumes over the course of one year, at as many of its sites as economically feasible. Ten Army Reserve Centers and three Army Reserve-funded Installations (Fort Hunter Liggett, Fort Buchanan and Parks Reserve Forces Training Area) are actively pursuing this ambitious target.

Because of all of these initiatives, the Army Reserve as a whole reduced its energy use intensity (energy consumption divided by gross square footage) by nine percent in only one year, from fiscal year 2014 to fiscal year 2015. According to AEWRS data, this reduction in energy use intensity saved just over $2 million, or the equivalent to the level of funding required for two and a half additional Army Reserve training exercises.

The Army Reserve has already achieved many successes, but it will not simply rest on its past victories. Instead, it will continue to lead the Department of the Army’s charge toward energy-conscious communities and an energy-secure enterprise with a mission that endures – now and for generations to come.

DO YOUR PART FOR ARMY RESERVE ENERGY SECURITY

Extinguish lights in vacant rooms.

Use natural light where possible.

Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights or light emitting diodes to increase energy efficiency.

Power down computer monitors and peripherals at the end of each duty day.

Unplug electronics that are not in use for extended periods.

Use the “energy saver” modes on office copiers and printers.

When purchasing electronics or appliances, choose Energy Star models.

Set thermostats according to Unified Facilities Criteria 3 – 410 – 01: 68 degrees for occupied facilities during the heating season and 78 degrees for occupied facilities during the cooling season.

Close doors and windows to conditioned spaces.

Ensure that vents are unobstructed.

Change your air filters regularly to ensure that your climate control system operates at its peak efficiency.

Learn the Army Regulations regarding energy use in Federal facilities and adhere to them.

Be observant. If you notice energy waste or opportunities for energy conservation, contact your facility manager or Building Energy Monitor.

Talk to your Building Energy Monitor about practical or creative ways to save energy in your facility.

Practice energy conservation at the office and at home.

FOR MORE ENERGY CONSERVATION IDEAS …

ENERGY SAVER from the U.S. Department of Energy