United States Air Force Begins Construction on $403 Million Energy Savings Performance Contract with Schneider Electric to Enhance Mission Readiness at Yokota Air Base
- The long-term solution improves energy infrastructure at the base through a combined heat and power plant with microgrid controls and energy efficiency to ensure reliable, resilient power supply
- One of the most comprehensive resilience solutions within an ESPC to date by the Department of Defense providing reduced and stabilized utility costs, power reliability, guaranteed uptime, operational continuity, and long-term onsite support
- Expands existing partnership with the fourth ESPC between the Air Force and Schneider Electric in four years
On January 14, 2021, energy and sustainability expert, Schneider Electric, announced the start of construction on an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) project with the United States Air Force to improve energy resilience and enhance mission readiness at Yokota Air Base (Yokota AB), located outside of Tokyo, Japan. The ESPC totals $403 million, consisting of $167 million in implementation costs along with 21 years of operations, maintenance, repair, and replacement services. The project includes a combined heat and power (CHP) plant with microgrid controls that can produce more than 10 MW of power to support the base’s critical buildings and enhances the efficiency of more than 450 buildings to further optimize demand.
This massive project is funded with energy savings guaranteed by Schneider Electric over the 25-year contract term. The project will provide an alternate source of prime power to most of the base’s mission-related buildings, alleviating growing concerns of power reliability in the area and further reducing utility costs. This ESPC expands an existing partnership between Schneider Electric and the Air Force, representing the fourth performance contract between the two entities in the past four years.
The Yokota AB project is one of the largest and most comprehensive resilience performance contracts for the Department of Defense (DoD) to date, showcasing the increasing importance of reliable energy infrastructure and operational continuity.
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The Yokota AB project is one of the largest and most comprehensive resilience performance contracts for the Department of Defense (DoD) to date, showcasing the increasing importance of reliable energy infrastructure and operational continuity. Aging infrastructure challenges, such as the electrical grid incurring more frequent blackouts in the Tokyo area, are putting stress on the critical facilities and systems that ensure power quality and reliability for the protection of our armed forces and the citizens they serve around the world. Additionally, with the understanding that military bases are dynamic and mission requirements may change, Schneider Electric incorporated flexibility and growth capabilities in the microgrid controls and building automation system design. The Air Force has become a leader within the DoD in taking an active approach to modernizing its bases to prevent potential power and systems interruptions from impacting national security.
This strategic project is being implemented via an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), a finance contracting mechanism that secures funding without capital outlay from the Air Force. Nineteen total conservation measures will provide an average of $20 million in annual guaranteed energy savings, which will pay for the improvements over the life of the 25-year contract.
“Yokota AB is a strategically located installation for the Air Force, requiring dependability of building systems, reliability of operations, and resilience to deliver on its missions. As a team, we are proud to build upon past ESPC experience to make the necessary decisions and enhancements to assure energy supply and maintain mission assurance,” said Mr. Michael Ringenberg, GS-13, ESPC/UESC PMO, U.S. Air Force.
“The scope of the Yokota AB project demonstrates what is possible for providing comprehensive resilience solutions through an ESPC, and along with conservation updates, that uniquely enables us to reach our mission goals.”
- Mr. Michael Ringenberg, GS-13, ESPC/UESC PMO, U.S. Air Force
The Yokota AB project is the result of a broader energy initiative within the Air Force. To protect the nation’s interests, the Air Force requires Airmen, robust weapon systems, and resilient infrastructure, all of which require energy to operate. As such, the Air Force implemented the strategic energy goals of improving resilience, optimizing demand, and assuring supply. Schneider Electric worked collaboratively with the Air Force and the Defense Logistics Agency Energy Division to fully align this project with these goals and objectives.
“Optimizing energy usage for top-line and bottom-line benefits for our customers is in our DNA. It’s a privilege to leverage this expertise to protect our nation’s security with the added benefit of increasing sustainability, lowering energy costs, and enhancing resilience,” said Aamir Paul, US Country President, Schneider Electric. “We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Air Force and the Department of Defense to collaborate on a structured path towards resilience as projects like these become more necessary and prevalent in the US and globally.”
In addition to energy resilience, the project will generate significant energy savings for Yokota AB. Yearly energy costs for the Air Force are upwards of $8 billion, with nearly $880 million spent on facilities. This project will save nearly 1.5 percent of the total energy spend annually by the Air Force through offsetting electrical consumption from the grid with the CHP plant, optimization of base-wide central plants, building automation system expansion and consolidation, lighting upgrades, and plumbing fixture replacement. Schneider Electric will also provide a team to operate, maintain, repair, and replace critical infrastructure and conduct ongoing training of military staff on operations to ensure long-term sustainment of the implemented scope and achievement of energy savings.
“Along with assuring mission readiness, this project is also playing a critical role in helping the Air Force reduce its carbon footprint and sustainability impact,”
- Steve Wilhite, Senior Vice President of Schneider Electric’s Energy and Sustainability Services
“The strategic energy and resource efficiency measures that are core to this project will have a meaningful and lasting environmental impact on the air base and the local community.”
Construction for the Yokota AB project is anticipated to last approximately three years. Upon completion, the base will save more than 30 million gallons of water, 80 thousand MMBTU, and 75 million kWh annually.
Over the past 28 years, Schneider Electric has successfully implemented more than 800 ESPC projects across the nation, saving its clients more than $2.7 billion. This project delivery method helps publicly funded entities make capital improvements over longer payback periods and offers many long-term benefits such as improved facility efficiency, occupant comfort, financial management, and environmental protection.
Schneider Electric has also recently been named the #1 Energy Services Company and the #1 Energy-as-a-Service company by Guidehouse Insights.
For more information on how Schneider Electric helps federal agencies tackle their top priorities with energy efficiency and resilience, please visit www.schneider-electric.us/fedgov.