NEW CUMBERLAND, Pa. –
Defense Logistics Agency Distribution installation management has been, and continues to, undertake enhancement projects that increase energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption at multiple locations across the DLA Distribution network. The efforts are in line with a White House Executive Order calling for enhancements to energize the American economy, as well create a sustainable and clean form of resilience.
“As the single largest land owner, energy consumer and employer in the nation, the federal government can catalyze private-sector investment and expand the economy and American industry by transforming how we build, buy and manage electricity, vehicles, buildings and other operations to be clean and sustainable,” the order said.
Some of the projects included infra-red heat systems, insulation, programmable thermostats and enhanced lighting and controls. While those projects have a direct benefit to overall energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption, other projects like smart meters gather data that better inform decisions moving forward.
“Our energy efficiency projects are typically done in line with the current repair and modernization schedules for facilities, which is efficient for the scheduling, reduces costs, and allows technological advancements to be properly integrated with the facility,” said Jim Wymer, supervisory general engineer.
Under presidential orders from 2015 the intent of energy efficiency projects is to have a 2.5% energy consumption reduction each year from 2016 through 2025. In addition, an internal DLA order mandated a 10-year return on the investment. Projects like those completed at DLA Distribution Red River, Texas, have reduced energy costs by 50% and reduced energy usage by over 56% keeping the return on investment ahead of schedule.
New orders under the current administration have maintained the need for savings to the taxpayer, but have also included a focus on carbon dioxide reduction and operational resiliency during widespread power outages.
Projects from the past two years and spanning into the future are focused on solar power installation with battery backups for essential systems. When the system is complete at DDRT, it is expected to generate over 1200 megawatts and save 14 tons of carbon dioxide per year.
Plans also include a 1 MW solar system at DLA Distribution Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, and a battery system to enhance the currently operating solar system at DLA Distribution Sigonella, Italy. The battery project at DDSI, once completed, will be able to power the electrical needs of the entire center for 24 hours. As is, the solar system in place exceeds the demand at DDSI and also supplies energy to Naval Air Station Sigonella, the installation where DDSI is located.
Dependent on each state and locality, the cost of electricity can have a greater impact on the overall savings from solar projects.
Currently, overseas installations are being looked at critically as areas for solar and battery backup projects. The need for resiliency is of the utmost importance in these forward operating areas,
As the cost of battery systems reduce with an increase in domestic manufacturing under the Inflation Reduction Act, those systems will also be added to increase resiliency capacity. DLA Distribution will ensure these projects are done within budget and without impact to the warfighter.
DLA Distribution remains on track to meet cost effectiveness and carbon dioxide reductions by 2030, returning savings to the taxpayer and maintaining mission readiness in support of the warfighter and federal partners.