$32 million energy savings performance contract awarded at Keesler AFB

By J. Brian Garmon

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Keesler Air Force Base will have access to more resilient, efficient and reliable energy thanks to the award of a nearly $32 million energy savings performance contract supporting over 100 facilities and the airfield apron lighting.

The Air Force Civil Engineer Center Energy Directorate partnered with Keesler and the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy to award the contract to Noresco, LLC. It supports nearly three million square feet in facility space, in addition to the external and airfield apron lighting. Nearly $70 million in total cost savings will be provided to Keesler over the 22-year financed term of the contract and reduce annual installation energy usage by nearly 16 percent.

With the added resilience and reduction in energy use, many of the facility upgrades will provide quality of life improvements to the personnel that use them each day. This includes upgrading the chillers and control systems on many of the buildings covered in the scope of the project. These upgrades will improve control over building temperatures and humidity among other benefits.

Those visiting the BX on Keesler will benefit from another portion of the project with a 1.5 Megawatt solar array installed on top of a new covered parking structure, which will provide cover for patrons parking there but will also provide renewable energy to the base.

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

ESPC projects like these are made possible through partnerships between the government and energy service companies. These contracts provide energy resilience, energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs to the government. ESPCs make major improvements to the bases’ energy infrastructure and can include items such as installing renewable or other high-efficiency sources of power. In addition, they can retrofit existing exterior lighting with new high-efficiency fixtures and address climate issues in buildings identified by the base.

Energy service companies have the opportunity to respond to a notice of opportunity released by an installation and, after the installation selects a company to proceed, the company conducts a preliminary assessment, followed by an investment-grade audit. During this process, AFCEC, a primary subordinate unit within the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center, provides technical expertise to the installation while the company evaluates and recommends energy conservation measures that make sense for the location. After completion of this process and approval, an award can be made.

“We have an entire team of engineers dedicated to supporting the development, execution and performance of these projects,” said Mike Ringenberg, ESPC program manager at AFCEC.

Installations interested in pursuing energy projects are encouraged to reach out to AFCEC through the Reachback Center at (888) 232-3721 or at AFCEC.RBC@us.af.mil.


Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer Center website.