Misawa AB energy saving performance contract kicks off

  • Published
  • By Jess Echerri
  • AFCEC Public Affairs
Base civil engineers at Misawa Air Base, Japan, along with the Defense Logistics Agency, hosted Trane, an energy service company, or ESCO, to perform a preliminary assessment of installation facilities June 20 for an energy savings performance contract.

The PA kickoff event allows Trane to identify potential energy conservation measures, or ECMs, and  estimate the time and cost of performing required work.

The higher electricity costs overseas make Misawa an excellent candidate for an ESPC, said Sidney Mohseni, Air Force Civil Engineer Center ESPC project manager. While the average cost of electricity at an Air Force installation within the continental United States is about 7 cents per kilowatt hour, Misawa pays 19 cents per kilowatt hour.

"Misawa is the 6th largest installation in energy cost," Mohseni said. "They are also the 12th largest installation for energy consumption."

This fence-to-fence ESPC covers more than 3,864 acres on the installation. Trane will aim to improve lighting, steam distribution, heating and cooling, building envelopes, renewable energy production, water efficiency and other potential ECMs.

The team also plans to look at options for expanding Misawa's energy management control center, or EMCS, from connecting 37 buildings to connecting all of them to the control system. The expanded system would give base energy managers a way to control energy usage from a single dashboard.

"Energy management at U.S. Air Force bases is multifaceted and complex, and the challenges are multiplied in an overseas environment," said Jesse Gary, resource efficiency manager at Misawa. "Misawa is serious about energy conservation and has funded several previous energy audits that identified some good opportunities but, like many other bases, lacked the capital to implement many of them. Good ideas don't save energy; new equipment and systems do. An ESPC is giving us the opportunity to not only identify cost-effective energy and water projects, but provides the vehicle to see them come to fruition and make an impact."

The preliminary assessment is scheduled to be completed Aug. 10. After approval by engineers and contracting officials at Misawa, AFCEC and DLA, Trane will perform an investment-grade audit. The IGA is based on an in-depth look at installation facilities and will provide decision-makers with the information to proceed with the project.

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.