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News | Feb. 1, 2022

Energy support to Fort Hood, a Utilities Privatization success story

By Irene Smith DLA Energy Public Affairs

A new video about Defense Logistics Agency Energy’s Utilities Privatization supporting Fort Hood, Texas, highlights the successes of a DLA Energy program to help military installations with utilities privatization and energy resiliency efforts.

Fort Hood is a great example of how installations can work together with the system owners to achieve resilient and reliable utilities,” said DLA Energy Utility Services Director Martha Gray. “Fort Hood is one of the largest and most dynamic military installations we have.”

Fort Hood turned to DLA Energy to help them privatize its utilities. First with an award of a utility services contract to American Water for the water and wastewater systems in 2008.  Performance began in 2009. American Water owns and maintains the entire system ensuring it complies with current codes, standards, and best practices. 

“We're about 11 and a half years into the 50-year partnership that we have with Fort Hood,” said American Water employee AJ Olson. “We own the wastewater lines, the manholes, the fire hydrants. We own the water towers. We own the water treatment plants with the pump stations that provide the water to Fort Hood.”

Utilities privatization began in the 1990s so that military installations could obtain safe, reliable, technologically current, and environmentally sound utility systems at a relatively lower cost than under government ownership. 

“In the privatization process, military installations shift from the role of owner operators to that of smart utility service customers,” Gray said. “We provide the specialized pre- and post-award contracting and technical expertise to support the military services’ conveyance of government-owned utility systems (water, wastewater, electric, natural gas and thermal) to public, private or municipal entities under the authority of Title 10 U.S.C. §2688.”

Brian Dosa is the Public Works director for Fort Hood. He worked closely with DLA Energy Utility Services to improve the way the installation delivers utilities and services to the soldiers and the families in the units of Fort Hood.

“It's our responsibility to make sure that our facilities and our infrastructure are working and are reliable,” Dosa said. “In 2009, we privatized our water and our wastewater assets. In 2017, we privatized our electric and our natural gas assets with Dominion Energy.”

Resiliency is at the heart of the utility services mission.

For example, when a historic winter storm in February 2021 brought multiday road closures, power outages, loss of heat, broken pipes, and other societal impacts for the region, Fort Hood stayed open and operating.

“There were lots of loss of energy, especially in electricity and natural gas across Texas,” Dosa said. “We didn’t have a single utilities outage during winter storm Uri.”

“We’re much appreciative of Defense Logistics Agency…and particularly the DLA Energy…because they're the ones who have established, helped us get the contracts in place,” Dosa said. 

The installation’s 130-acre solar farm was made possible through a contract awarded by DLA Energy Installation Energy in January 2016, to support the Army’s strategic objective for resilient and assured access to energy supplies for critical installation operations. The on-site solar arrays provide Fort Hood with 15 megawatts of electricity that is distributed through Fort Hood’s privatized electric system. 

Read about other military and federal government facilities that have received utilities privatization contracts like Joint Base San Antonio, Texas; Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi; Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and Picatinny Arsenal facility in Jefferson, New Jersey.