Va. Guard receives Secretary of the Army Award for renewable energy efforts

VaARNG Team at Awards Ceremony

The Virginia National Guard receives a Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award in the Renewables and Alternatives category Aug. 11, 2016, at the Department of Energy Training and Trade Show. (Contributed photo)

SANDSTON, Va. — The Virginia National Guard received a Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Award in the Renewables and Alternatives category Aug. 11, 2016, at the Department of Energy Training and Trade Show in Providence, Rhode Island. Brig. Gen. Paul Griffin, Director of the Virginia National Guard Joint Staff, accepted the award along with members of the Guard’s Facilities Management Office.

“I am extremely proud of the great work the Virginia National Guard is doing in the areas of renewable energy, and this award recognizes the tenacity of our facilities management staff,” said Maj. Gen. Timothy P. Williams, the Adjutant General of Virginia. “When given a broad idea, they can convert it into action and produce results that are recognized at the national level. I think this shows us what the art of the possible is and supports our strategic vision of building four sites across the state that are energy independent. We also appreciate the great support and assistance from our corporate partners to help us realize our goals.”

According to the award narrative, “the Virginian National Guard developed solutions to augment existing emergency generation and reduce overall demand to effectively operate key facilities through installation of solar power at Fort Pickett. The projects include a 480 KW ground solar array and a 150 KW carport solar array.”

The projects generated an annual cost avoidance of $86,000 per year and energy savings of 13,894 MMBtu per year.

The narrative specifically recognized Col. Charlton Dunn, Clifton White, James Rufo and David Hite from the facilities management office.

The solar array systems are integrated into a building operations platform to enable the installation staff to monitor production and consumption and load offset with dashboard displays that are accessible from workstations and laptops. Real-time in historical data can be accessed and shared within the Army National Guard network. These project increase energy resilience, contribute to net zero energy and support for Fort Pickett’s missions.

According to an Army news release, Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning announced the Army has engaged in 127 energy-saving projects with the private sector that now exceed $1 billion in investments in less than five years.

Fanning explained that these projects were undertaken in response to a challenge from President Obama.

The president challenged all federal agencies in December 2011 to partner with companies to save energy. It was called the Energy Savings and Performance-Based Contracting Investments Initiative and the president wanted all of government to execute $4 billion in projects by the end of 2016.

The Army’s projects alone represent 33 percent of all the federal government’s current contributions to meeting the president’s goal, Fanning said.

“On our installations, and wherever we maintain and train our force, the Army is focused on finding the sweet spot between energy efficiency and energy security,” Fanning said.

The 127 projects have been undertaken at 52 installations.