Despite the DOD’s plans to reduce the size of its budget over the next 10 years, the Army remains committed to its clean energy and net zero programs on Army bases around the country, according to Army officials.

That dovetails with the president’s desire, reiterated in the state of the union speech, to promote clean energy and energy-saving performance contracting, in which private-sector investments are financed at least partially through energy savings achieved at the project site or building.

“The net zero program is focusing our efforts on other funding sources and better use of current funding sources,” such as Energy-Saving Performance Contracts (ESPCs), or Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs), said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and the environment, who spoke with reporters during a Feb. 1 conference call.

She said that in Fiscal 2011, the Army executed about $73 million in ESPC contracts, and the Army plans to commit to even more in ESPCs in fiscal 2012.

She added that although she is not sure how a new round of the Base Realignment and Closure program would affect the Army, she noted that in the last round of BRAC, several bases benefited by modernizations and improvements that enhanced the energy efficiency of buildings.

She said bases like Fort Carson in Colorado, where the Army has invested heavily in solar, biomass, and evaluating the viability of wind installations and which has more Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified buildings than any other Army base, are not likely to see a major dropoff in investment.

She added that private-sector investors in ESPCs are typically “well-aware that these are high real estate investments …[that] are not going to go away, although they may be shaped and look different.”

For an ENR article on the Army’s net zero program, click the link below:

For an ENR article on the DOD’s budget cuts and plans to request another round of BRAC, click the link below: