Services Look outside Their Gates to Finance Energy Resilience Projects
Association of Defense Communities
By: Dan Cohen
November 16, 2018
Washington, D.C. — In an effort to enhance its energy resilience, the Navy surveyed its 71 installations and uncovered 754 gaps — systems or components which need to be strengthened to improve energy efficiency, reliability and resiliency. Now the service is left with a budget exercise which boils down to, “How many gaps are we going to tackle this year,” John Kliem, executive director of the Navy’s Resilient Energy Program Office, told the DOD Energy & Water Forum last week. The Navy clearly doesn’t have the funding to address all of those potential weak spots, as military construction funding for energy resilience projects is limited.
The Navy’s best bet to finance its catalog of energy resilience requirements is to look for other people’s money through a variety of partnerships, Kliem said. At Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, for example, the service entered into an energy savings performance contract to address the installation’s water supply.
Kliem also underscored the partnership Naval Submarine Base New London entered into with the state of Connecticut and local government to install two 3.7-megawatt natural gas fuel cells on land leased from the base. The Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative will receive the electricity generated by the fuel cells through a power purchase agreement. During power outages, the fuel cells will deliver power to a base microgrid to sustain its operations. Funding for the microgrid was provided by the state through multiple programs.
“We can leverage appropriated funds in a 10-to-1 manner by doing partnerships” such as the one at New London,” Kliem said. “[That’s] a great model.”
A case study of the microgrid/fuel cell project at New London is featured in a new report produced by ADC in partnership with Converge Strategies.