Commercial Construction & Renovation

MAY-JUN 2017

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Page 166 of 214

162 COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION & RENOVATION — MAY : JUNE 2017 FEDERAL CONSTRUCTION • SAFEGUARDING VIRGINIA of work includes installing new technology, analyzing energy spend, procuring renewable energy and upgrading infrastructure. In addition to helping the DMA advance its net zero objective, the plan also will save more than $52 million in total energy costs over the next 25 years. Funding through Energy Savings Performance Contracts One of the ways the DMA is able to fund energy and infra- structure upgrade projects is through the use of energy savings performance contracts (ESPC). With ESPCs, organizations develop comprehensive plans to outline the overall energy savings that can be achieved through infrastructure upgrades. Organizations then can use these plans to secure third-party financing for projects from an energy service company (ESCO), which is paid back over time through guaranteed energy savings that will cover the cost of a project. These contracts allow organizations to make necessary infrastructure upgrades, while investing little to no upfront capital. One of the greatest challenges to obtaining ESPCs for a federal or state agencies is working with the leadership to understand the benefit of this energy efficiency model. The concern with fluctuating federal and state budgets is that an organization will not have the ability to pay a previously established debt. But with an ESPC, energy savings are guaranteed by the ESCO, and therefore utility expenses that would have been paid simply are redirected to service the debt. ESPCs give government agencies a great opportunity to reinvest energy savings into projects that deliver both energy efficiency and independence to government organizations. In total, the DMA has achieved over 30 percent energy savings in projects where it has implemented energy maintenance through ESPCs. Fort Pickett's Renewable Energy Project One of the initial projects in the DMA's Net Zero Energy Master Plan was at the Virginia National Guard's Fort Pickett Maneuver Training Center in Blackstone, Va. Fort Pickett faced the challenges of aging infrastructure and a need to increase energy security, supplementing existing energy sources with backup generation for instances of power failure. Once the Fort Pickett project plan with identified savings totaling $3.1 million was finalized, the Virginia National Guard was able to secure enough state and federal funding to pay for the entire project. In the first phase of the project, Fort Pickett and Schneider Electric implemented two solar photovoltaic (PV) installations at the Regional Training Institute, covering a 10,000-square-yard solar field and consisting of nearly 2,000 individual solar panels. In addition, the project involved the installation of a 150 kilowatt carport solar PV array on the north side of Fort Pickett's main ad- ministrative building. Together, the solar arrays generate nearly 650 kilowatts of energy and support Fort Pickett's mission to create a more resilient energy supply. In addition to providing supplemental energy, the organization implemented energy efficiency improvements at various buildings to reduce energy demand. Fort Pickett installed a solar vehicle charging station for greater energy efficiency and carport lighting to increase visibility. In addition, the base now has a dedicated weather station to better prepare for natural weather events that may impact the training center's operations. The current grid arrange- ment at Fort Pickett along with energy efficiency initiatives saves the training center more than $130,000 in annual en- ergy costs. There are environ- mental benefits to this project as well, aligning with the DMA's goals to minimize environmental impact. The power generated from this project reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 168 eTons and is the first step toward the DMA's mission to become net zero by 2030. To reach that goal, Fort Pickett intends to install six additional PV array systems. But the plans for reduced resource use don't stop there. Fort Pickett is working toward zero net waste and is planning to install a biomass power generation plant onsite in a future phase of improvements. When it comes to protecting the residents and Commonwealth of Virginia, the DMA is working to be prepared in any situation. A big part of that mission is establishing a resilient energy supply that allows the DMA to have access to energy under any threat, natural or manmade. With continued work on sites like Fort Pickett and others throughout Virginia, the DMA will not only become a net zero energy organization, but will also ensure its ability to protect and serve the people. Government entities should look to the Virginia DMA as an example of what it means to secure operations through energy resiliency. FC Tammy Fulop is VP of Energy and Sustainability Services at Schneider Electric. With 18 years in the industry, Fulop has led her team to successfully implement over 625 ESPC projects across the nation with total savings of more than $1.6 billion over the life of contracts. To date, DMA has invested more than $42 million in energy efficiency and renewable energy, with the overall goal of becoming a net zero energy organization by 2030.

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