Largest Air Force ESPC awarded at Tinker Air Logistics Complex

  • Published
  • By Jess Dupree
  • Air Force Civil Engineer Public Affairs
The Defense Logistics Agency Energy awarded an energy savings performance contract Dec. 13 for the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, or OC-ALC, at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. 

The $262 million project, the largest in the Air Force, was awarded to Honeywell International, Inc., to modernize 50 buildings, totaling more than 10 million square feet, with energy conservation measures expected to increase energy efficiency, reliability, surety and resiliency, with particular emphasis on industrial infrastructure process improvements. 

After completion of a 42-month construction effort, included as part of the 25-year performance period, the total annual energy savings are projected to be 641 billion British thermal units per year, equivalent to the average annual energy consumption of more than 8,300 homes. In addition to a projected 35-percent reduction in OC-ALC energy usage, this project provides water efficiencies, with OC-ALC water usage projected to reduce 9 percent.

This effort is a holistic approach to the OC-ALC intended to achieve improvements in energy and water efficiency, and industrial process improvements for OC-ALC depot maintenance facilities.  Energy conservation measures to be implemented include: the decentralization of steam by replacing an aging central heat plant system with distributed heating solutions, chiller plant improvements including two new 2,000-ton chillers, energy management control system upgrades, energy-related process improvements including paint booth and thermal spray booth optimization, compressed air and industrial waste treatment, light-emitting diode lighting upgrades and controls, infrared heating retrofits, and water and sewer conservation that will increase efficiencies across all OC-ALC systems. 

The project is a joint effort among Tinker, Honeywell, DLA Energy, Headquarters Air Force Materiel Command and the Air Force Civil Engineer Center. The team of energy and contracting experts were able to execute the award in 21 months. 

Les Martin, AFCEC program development division chief, said the Tinker OC-ALC and DLA energy teams exceeded expectations and were instrumental in the execution of this extensive project. 
The execution of the award was not only a success for the Air Force, but the entire federal government, he said.

“The triad of experts from DLA, Tinker and AFCEC were truly amazing during the development of this project,” Martin said. “Their efforts put the federal government over the top, achieving the Presidential Performance Contracting Challenge goal of awarding $4 billion for ESPCs by Dec. 31.”

Civil engineers at the OC-ALC and Tinker AFB, especially Joseph Cecrle, the OC-ALC energy manager, were instrumental in bringing a contract award to fruition, said Tom Laney, ESPC project manager at AFCEC. 

“Tinker is an extremely forward-thinking base,” he said. “Through the development of this complex and vast ESPC effort, the AFCEC energy team is excited for Tinker to achieve and realize their energy goals while contributing to Air Force-wide energy goals and challenges.”

Team Tinker, which also includes the OC-ALC process engineers and facility engineers, provided countless hours and involvement in technical meetings to bring success to a very complex and critical mission infrastructure project. 

“One of our goals is to become a ‘Complex of the Future,’” Cecrle said. “This ESPC is a great opportunity for our organization to invest in that vision.”

All members involved in the contract said they believed Honeywell, brought forth a technical team who is dedicated to achieving OC-ALC goals. Prior to being awarded the contract, Honeywell provided a comprehensive audit and analysis of the complex to discover opportunities for maximum energy and water savings with a particular emphasis on industrial process improvements. Honeywell’s ESPC plan also provided a long-term cultural focus on efficiency by implementing ISO 50001 Energy Management System standards.

Under the ESPC model, ESCOs compete to finance, design, construct and manage energy projects, and maintain the systems long-term. ESPCs range from 10 years to a maximum of 25 years, with the Air Force paying the ESCO back over the term of the contract from cost savings garnered by the energy efficiency improvements they make.