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Military

AFMC receives $50 million for energy projects

by Michelle Eviston
Air Force Materiel Command Public Affairs

8/1/2008 - WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio (AFPN) -- Air Force officials recently have awarded more than $50 million to Air Force Materiel Command officials here to fund energy projects under Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st century.

The July announcement comes seven months after the Air Force's chief engineer put out a call for energy projects.

In response, members of the AFMC Communications, Installations and Mission Support Directorate submitted 80 ideas.

"The projects are a combination of initiatives from within AFMC and those from coordination with other energy offices," said Maj Jack Wheeldon, the AFMC Infrastructure and Facilities chief.

Out of the 80 project ideas, 30 were submitted for AFSO 21 funding and 26 were approved. Another 26 projects were approved under fiscal 2010 Energy Program Objective Memorandum funding.

The majority of the approved AFSO 21 funding will be used to buy out 15 Energy Savings Performance Contracts. An ESPC is when Air Force officials contract out a project with the intent to pay off the contractor's capital investment with that project's energy savings. However, sometimes older or lengthy contracts carry high-interest rates. When Air Force officials buys out these contracts, they save money by avoiding further interest costs.

The remaining 11 AFSO 21 projects are considered fast payback items, a key requirement to receive AFSO 21 funds. To be considered, the ideas had to be construction projects with savings that will pay back initial investment costs in less than seven years.

The approved projects range from installing simple money-saving upgrades to the total replacement of conventional systems. For example, one project is to install infrared devices on vending machines. These devices will control the lighted fronts of the machines so they will not turn on until someone steps within their set range of motion. This project's energy savings will pay off its capital investment in a little more than two years, and then continue to save the Air Force money thereafter.

A more complex project involves replacing antiquated steam heating systems with more efficient electric heat pumps which use the natural thermal properties of the earth. This project not only consumes less energy but also avoids the associated cost of maintaining an older system.

These and the rest of the AFSO 21 funded projects will begin to see savings upon the completion of their contracts and construction during fiscal 2010.



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