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News | Feb. 6, 2019

Increasing energy resiliency in Japan

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy awarded Misawa Air Base, Japan’s first energy savings performance contract Dec. 20, 2018.

The ESPC provides for $206 million in main base and military family housing infrastructure improvements that will provide an estimated annual energy savings of 258,697 million thermal units with no up-front capital costs to the government.

Energy savings performance contracts and renewable energy supply agreements are examples of how DLA Energy works to improve efficiency in procuring and managing energy supply contracts for the Department of Defense.

“The most significant measure this project implements is the cogeneration and renewable energy technology as it contributes to the resiliency needs of the Air Force and Misawa Air Base,” said DLA Energy Contracting Officer Jacob Vigil.

The primary elements of the ESPC are electrical power generation and steam production, with additional energy savings resulting from additional water and energy conservation measures.

Power will be generated by two cogeneration plants with a generation capacity of 6.2 megawatts, in addition to a 6.0 megawatt solar photovoltaic farm. The two cogeneration assets will also provide the majority of the distributed steam load for facility heating. A 500 kilowatt black start generator will be installed to bring the cogeneration assets back online during a power grid failure.

“This project will reduce Misawa’s energy consumption by 20 percent across 679 buildings, along with providing 70 percent of peak demand and as much as 60 percent of annual electrical load during normal operations,” Vigil said. 

Misawa is the 5th largest installation in energy cost and the 12th largest installation for energy consumption in the Air Force.

In addition to the electrical efficiencies, the project provides redundancy by installation of a natural gas distribution network, converting some boilers to dual fuel while also supplying the cogeneration assets. Additionally, the existing central steam plants will remain operational to provide redundancy to base heating operations.

“These projections are significant for what the ESPC can achieve for the Air Force and Misawa Air Base,” Vigil said. “Especially given the base was negatively affected by the 2011 tsunami that caused widespread natural disaster and significant loss of life in the surrounding communities. Their electrical power was rationed for nearly 90 days, causing concerns over mission readiness. The cogeneration systems will work in conjunction with the microgrid/smartgrid solution to provide continuous duty, critical power to assist in a power crisis event.”

“The higher utility costs overseas and the centralized steam distribution made Misawa AB an excellent candidate for an ESPC,” said Michael Ringenberg, Air Force ESPC program manager.

DLA Energy is partnered with various energy service companies to complete energy savings projects on behalf of defense department installations. The project is a joint effort among Misawa AB, Air Force Civil Engineer Center, DLA Energy and Trane, an energy service company. The team of energy and contracting experts from each organization were able to execute the award in 12 months.

“There were a lot of moving parts, negotiations, resolutions of technical and complex issues and high level briefs for a project of this size,” Vigil said.

DLA Energy Installation Energy will retain contract administration responsibilities and conduct performance oversight for the Misawa AB ESPC over the next 20 years. DLA Energy will also manage and participate in the implementation phase (construction) of the scope of work that will occur over the next 40 months.

“This project reduces demand for energy, expands the supply of on-site energy generation and supports both the Air Force and the Department of Defense’s strategy for improved energy resilience at fixed installations,” said DLA Energy Installation Energy Director Pam Griffith.

DLA Energy Installation Energy is one of DoD’s contracting agents for meeting the Department’s energy strategy. Installation Energy has awarded ESPCs for the DoD to reduce energy costs and improve mission assurance for the Warfighter.