Air Base Uses Self-Funded ESPC to Tackle Grid Stability Issues

November 10, 2021
  • Project reduces energy costs by 17.7% and saves $1.5M annually for 22 years

  • Integrates 240kW of solar energy and 265kWh of battery storage with an advanced microgrid energy control center for load resilience to ensure mission critical readiness

  • Comprehensive upgrades impact more than 300 facilities

Air Force jet flying in skySchneider Electric, the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and sustainability, today announced a large-scale energy infrastructure modernization project at Hurlburt Field outside Destin, Florida. The project provides multiple infrastructure improvement measures and supports critical power supply and grid stability needs at the airbase, which is also the headquarters of the U.S. Air Force’s Special Operations Command (HQ AFSOC). Through the self-funding $22.6 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with Schneider Electric, the project will reduce Hurlburt Field’s energy costs by 17.7 percent – resulting in $1.5M in savings annually for the 22-year term for the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and Department of Defense (DoD).

In the face of an escalating climate crisis, federal agencies face unique and significant challenges when it comes to balancing the need for 24/7/365 energy reliability and mission readiness. Schneider Electric is working with several agencies, including DoD, to find innovative ways to address those challenges, through smart infrastructure enhancements needed to increase the government’s energy resiliency and independence. The comprehensive infrastructure project with Hurlburt Field incorporates renewable energy alternatives that support the Air Force’s Energy Vision to Enhance Mission Assurance Through Energy Assurance strategy and is part of DoD’s broader strategy to achieve mission-critical resilience.

“Over the course of our longstanding relationship with the United States Air Force, energy resiliency and assurance has only grown in importance,” said Dean Yobs, Federal Energy Solutions Business Development Manager, Schneider Electric. “We’re pleased to build on our track record of success to not only improve the environment for airmen and staff based at Hurlburt, but also ensure energy reliability that is vital to successful AFSOC and other Air Force missions.”

Comprised of over 300 buildings, Hurlburt Field houses the mission-critical Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC). Upgrades will include 240kW of canopy solar PV and a 265kWh battery energy storage system (BESS) with microgrid controls. This new system is designed to ensure reliable uninterrupted HVAC operations while improving operational resilience.

Other self-funding improvements feature much-needed base-wide LED lighting, as well as transformer, HVAC, and duct sealing upgrades, enhanced energy management control systems (EMCS), and the replacement of legacy building-level controllers and software to support compliance with current Air Force cybersecurity requirements. The results will not only improve airmen living conditions but also help minimize the daily impact on the maintenance squadron, increasing focus on other mission-critical tasks.

“Between both our location along the Gulf of Mexico and the global responsibilities of our AFSOC mission, our need to ensure the security and stability of our grid is imperative,” said Steve Loken, the Hurlburt Field Civil Engineering Squadron Deputy. “The fact that we are able to implement energy conservation measures and renewables to self-fund these improvements will mean we can align with climate action goals for years to come.”

In addition to Hurlburt Field, Schneider Electric has worked on similar projects globally, including the Fort Huachuca Army installation in Arizona, Naval Base Coronado in California, Yokota Air Base in Japan, and Moody and Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. In total, Schneider Electric has been awarded 17 federal ESPCs and UESCs (Utility Energy Services Contracts), delivering more than $895 million in infrastructure modernization and energy improvements and services for federal agencies.

ESPCs are financial vehicles that help publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods with many long-term benefits, including improved facility efficiency, more comfortable environment, financial management and environmental protection.

For more information about Schneider Electric’s work with federal agencies, visit www.se.com/us/fedgov

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