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2017 FEMP award winners recognized at Energy Exchange

2017 FEMP award recipients

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, Richard Hartley, center, stands with 2017 FEMP award recipients for the U.S. Air Force. Recipients were recognized Aug. 18, 2017 at the 2017 Energy Exchange held in Tampa, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo by J. Brian Garmon)

TYNDALL AFB, Florida -- The Air Force recognized six Federal Energy Management Program, or FEMP, award winners Aug. 18 at the 2017 Energy Exchange in Tampa, Florida.

Acting Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Installations, Environment and Energy, Richard Hartley, presented representatives from each installation along with individual winners with certificates of achievement and coins from SAF/IE.

"Congratulations to our Air Force award winners for the outstanding work they are doing to improve Air Force energy resilience, and helping enhance mission assurance through energy assurance," said Hartley. "Each winner represents the best of what the Air Force has to offer and demonstrates a strong commitment to ensuring we are well positioned for the future."

In the project category, Jeff Blazi accepted the award on behalf of Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, which led a multi-disciplinary team to construct an 18.8 MW solar array at no cost to the government. All project costs totaled $54 million, and include a 102-acre, 31-year land lease. The array generates enough energy to reduce energy usage by 61 billion British Thermal Units, or BTUs. This array, when coupled with an array completed in 2007, will allow 100 percent of the base to be powered by solar energy.

Brian O’Leary accepted an award in the project category on behalf of Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. The base achieved long-term cost savings at Clear Air Force Station, Alaska, through new energy sources eliminating $16 million in pending repairs at the old coal plant, which also reduced labor costs by $3.2 million annually. In addition, this project will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 42,000 tons to 6,700 tons per year, an 84-percent reduction.

Abe Irshid accepted a program category award for his leadership at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, where the base reduced energy consumption by more than 447 billion BTUs, resulting in a cost savings of over $11 million. He developed a $3.3 million fiscal year 2016 energy management and control systems replacement project to save $733,000 per year. He also developed a $4.4 million energy resilience and conservation investment program, or ERCIP, project to upgrade and sequence chillers at the central plant, saving $631,000 in the first year alone. Irshid led a team of subject matter experts to develop a $15.3 million fiscal year 2018 ERCIP project supporting resiliency through 20 MW of back-up power based on a co-gen duel-fuel turbine and microgrid.

The Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex was honored for its work in reducing energy usage by over 147 billion BTUs, resulting in a cost savings of more than $4.4 million. The complex’s accomplishments include: the awarding of a $262 million energy savings performance contract; the largest in the history of the Department of Energy, achieving leadership program endorsement through ISO 50001 accreditation and developing a $19 million utility energy service contract project to replace boilers, upgrade lighting and upgrade compressors. Joe Cecrle, energy manager for the complex, received the award on behalf of the organization.

Tom Behany, from Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York, and Andres Hinojosa, from Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas, were presented career exceptional service awards.

Behany’s leadership on multiple projects and initiatives spans 31 years of civil service, where he began as a postmaster and currently is a real property manager in the 105th Air Wing Civil Engineer Squadron. Behany began assisting AFRL in 2010 for a microgrid research project commissioned in 2015 and he initiated many solar projects at facilities throughout the installation. In 2014, he facilitated the award of a $4.25 million project with multiple energy conservation measures, to include HVAC, lighting and hangar upgrades. Finally, he is partnering with stakeholders on a possible Catskill Aqueduct hydropower project.

Hinojosa began his 32-year career as a mechanical engineer supporting the C-130 Hercules, B-52 Stratofortress and C-5 Galaxy weapon systems. During fiscal year 2016, he served as the lead energy manager for Joint Base San Antonio. Hinojosa is currently leading a team finalizing the audit for an energy savings performance contract that will provide $240 million in conservation measures at all three installations at JBSA. The planned improvements are projected to cut JBSA’s energy bill by 25 percent or $17 million. Other initiatives include a community partnership program to install a 20 kW solar array sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, an on-site load curtailment program garnering rebates worth $2 million and a stand-alone $2 million project to upgrade energy management and control systems throughout JBSA with use of direct digital controls.

“These winners and nominees represent the great strides our bases are making towards the Air Force’s goal of mission assurance through energy assurance,” said Dan Soto, AFCEC Energy Directorate’s measurements and analysis division chief.