By Sue Brink, NAVFAC Southeast Public Affairs Office
JACKSONVILLE, Florida (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast awarded a nearly $4.7 million Utility Energy Services Contract (UESC) for energy saving upgrades aboard Marine Corps Support Facility (MCSF) Blount Island located in Jacksonville, Florida, July 6 to TECO Peoples Gas of Tampa, Florida.
A UESC is a limited-source contract between a federal agency and its serving utility for energy- and water-efficiency improvements and demand-reduction services. This award is tied to the existing purchase contract for natural gas for the Jacksonville area.
The project supports President Barack Obama's announcement, December 2011, of a $4 billion investment in energy upgrades to combined federal and private sector buildings. When announced, the investments were intended to save billions in energy costs, promote energy independence and, according to independent estimates, create tens of thousands of jobs in the hard-hit construction sector.
"NAVFAC Southeast is committed to meeting the President's challenge by awarding financed energy projects on six bases in the southeast region," said NAVFAC Southeast Regional Energy Program Manager Brad Clark. "The first of these projects was awarded to TECO Peoples Gas for capital improvements totaling $4,684,664 at MCSF Blount Island."
According to Clark, the energy savings improvements will include installation of high efficiency LED lighting upgrades, recommissioning the fire suppression system to reduce consumed water during periodic testing, installation of high efficiency gas-fired infrared heating, recommissioning of a solar water heating system and installation of high efficiency transformer upgrades.
"Another highlight of the project is that it will bring natural gas to the base," said NAVFAC Southeast Capital Improvements Business Line Energy Project Manager Justin Grover. "In order to support some of the energy conservation measures, a natural gas main will be installed to service the base, as well as the necessary metering and piping to the affected buildings."
Grover explained that converting to natural gas presents multiple opportunities to reduce operating costs throughout the installation. Existing electrical units use significantly more energy and are less efficient than the proposed natural gas system.
"This project is projected to save more than 6,500 MMBTU (million British thermal units) of energy and about 41,000 gallons of water annually," continued Clark. "That equates to about $360,000 a year in energy savings that will go on for ever."
Obama described in his press release that, "Upgrading the energy efficiency of America's buildings is one of the fastest, easiest and cheapest ways to save money, cut down on harmful pollution and create good jobs right now. But we can't wait for Congress to act. So today, I'm directing all federal agencies to make at least $2 billion worth of energy efficiency upgrades over the next 2 years - at no up-front cost to the taxpayer. Coupled with today's extraordinary private sector commitments of $2 billion to upgrade businesses, factories and military housing, America is taking another big step towards the competitive, clean energy economy it will take to win the future."
In addition, 60 CEOs, mayors, university presidents and labor leaders committed to invest nearly $2 billion of private capital into energy efficiency projects; and to upgrade energy performance by a minimum of 20 percent by 2020 in 1.6 billion square feet of office, industrial, municipal, hospital, university, community college and school buildings, according to the press release.
The $4 billion investment in 2011 included a $2 billion commitment, made through the issuance of a Presidential Memorandum, to energy upgrades of federal buildings using long term energy savings to pay for up-front costs, at no cost to taxpayers.