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News | March 27, 2019

Keesler AFB gets big energy boost

By Elizabeth Stoeckmann DLA Energy Public Affairs

Defense Logistics Agency Energy is keeping Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, running stronger with two new contract awards – a 50-year Utilities Privatization Contract and a 22-year financed term Energy Savings Performance Contract.

Both contracts support Keesler’s vision of training leaders to deliver innovative and mission-ready Warfighters in conjunction with strong partnerships between government and energy service companies.

Utilities Privatization Contract

The $126 million UP contract, awarded March 1, offers a fixed price with economic price adjustments to the home of one of the Air Force’s largest technical training centers and the second largest medical training center.

“By privatizing the utility systems, not only does the military installation get a more dependable system, it also frees up civil engineering manpower for more mission-critical issues,” said DLA Energy Utility Services Branch Chief Denise Maloney. 

DLA Energy Utility Services helps military installations build energy security and resilience through the upgrade and sustainment of critical utility systems, utilizing contracting support for utilities privatization efforts.

“As military infrastructure continues to age and need repair, privatizing a utility system provides a multitude of benefits for the installation, but most importantly system reliability and resilience,” Maloney said.

The contractor, City Light and Power, Inc., will own, operate and maintain the electric distribution system on Keesler AFB. CLP currently owns several other utility systems on both Air Force bases and Army installations across the U.S.

“By privatizing the electric system, the system owner ensures mission readiness and success for the Air Force’s Electronics Training Center of Excellence,” Maloney said.

The UP system owners ensure the utility systems are maintained and operating at industry standard or better. They have plans in place to repair and/or replace system components as they reach the end of the useful lives. The system owners also perform regular operations and maintenance on the utility systems.

The Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense reports the military departments continue to move forward to privatize utilities and despite the challenges, privatization is yielding successes, including efforts by the Army and Air Force through DLA Energy. The Air Force reports that 167 out of about 660 utilities systems are privatized, which has avoided more than $500 million in costs.

Energy Savings Performance Contract

The $32 million ESPC, awarded Dec. 7, 2018, will support over 100 facilities on more than three million square feet of land as well as Keesler’s airfield apron lighting.

The project implements the normal energy conservation measures of chiller plant improvements, energy management control system and lighting Improvements.

“One of the most notable items is the 1,500 kilowatt solar photovoltaic power array on covered carports at the base exchange,” said DLA Energy Contracting Officer Jacob Vigil.

The new parking lot will not only provide cover for customers and their automobiles, but will also provide renewable energy to the base, he added.

“The installation is proud of this achievement and requested that the contractor provide a kiosk to showcase the renewable generation and to display Keesler AFB’s progress toward renewable energy goals,” Vigil said.

Likewise, the installation of PV power array will be visible from the new base entrance road.

"This project represents an achievement for the Air Force and the Warfighter, helping provide mission assurance through on-site renewable energy," said Air Force Civil Engineer Center Project Manager Steven Hegstrom. "Its successful award is a result of the significant teamwork by Keesler Air Force Base, AFCEC and DLA Energy.”

DLA Energy fosters strong partnerships with private/public sectors and the military services by collaborating on strategic and innovative measures that ensures the end goal is smarter and more efficient for the Warfighter.