Army energy & environment expert Hammack promotes clean initiatives at Honolulu summit

| September 27, 2013 | 0 Comments
Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, delivers her keynote address at the 2013 Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo, Sept. 9.  Hammack spoke about the Army's goal of developing and executing a balanced portfolio of clean energy projects to meet future Army energy needs.

Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, delivers her keynote address at the 2013 Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo, Sept. 9. Hammack spoke about the Army’s goal of developing and executing a balanced portfolio of clean energy projects to meet future Army energy needs.

Story and photo by
Larry Reilly
Installation Management Command-Pacific Region Public Affairs

HONOLULU — “The Army is very committed to clean energy initiatives” was the key message the Hon. Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, emphasized during her keynote speech at the Asia-Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo held Sept. 9.

“We (U.S. Army) are the largest facility energy consumer in the federal government with an energy bill of $1.25 billion in fiscal year 2012,” said Hammack to the audience that included a couple hundred members of the Asia-Pacific Clean Energy community.

Although the cost of supplying energy to the force is a major concern to the Army, having energy security is also important.

“The Army is very interested in renewable energy, and it’s about energy security. Having energy security means having assured access to reliable energy supply, and the ability to protect and deliver sufficient energy to meet mission essential requirements,” Hammack said.

A renewable energy contract capacity of $7 billion was created by the Army and covers four renewable energy technologies: geothermal, wind, biomass and solar.

“An Energy Initiative Task Force (EITF) was set up in 2011 to serve as a central management office for cost effective, large scale renewable energy projects leveraging private sector capital,” Hammack said. “The Army’s goal is to generate one gigawatt or a thousand megawatts of renewable energy on Army installations by 2025.”

The EITF has seven projects that are entering the contract process, and they represent more than 175 megawatts of power, which is almost 20 percent of the Army’s goal.

In Hawaii, the EITF is working with the Hawaii Electric Company to build a 52 megawatt Biodiesel Power Plant at Schofield Barracks. This project will increase energy security and grid resiliency both for the Army and the island of Oahu.

“The biodiesel, a fuel source that can be produced on the island, energy plant will be built at Schofield Barracks which is on higher elevation than all the other energy plants on the island of Oahu,” said Hammack.

The Army currently has three energy projects in Hawaii; one has the capability to produce enough energy to power four electric cars and enable three separate buildings to operate independently of the power grid for up to 72 hours.

“In 2011, the Army unveiled its first ever smart-charging micro grid on Wheeler Army Airfield. The system has solar and battery storage, plug-in electric vehicles and back-up generation; all of which are on a separate and secure micro grid,” said Hammack.

In the solar energy arena, Hawaii is leading the way with the largest residential solar energy project in the Army.

“We just signed a contract that will double the solar energy project in our Army family housing areas, and will increase our solar generation on this island to more than 13 megawatts of electricity,” Hammack added.

The third Hawaii energy project is the Smart Powered Infrastructure for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS), which is a joint military services project that will demonstrate energy-secure micro grids that integrate renewable energy.

“The two SPIDERS systems in Hawaii build on the micro grid system,” stated Hammack. “We are exploring the electric vehicle-to-grid storage concept. These hybrids, all electric vehicles, have battery storage that can be connected to the grid and can charge from or discharge into the grid, depending on the needs of the grid.”

The Department of Defense faces multiple threats and nontraditional challenges that can jeopardize our future security. Energy surety and security are a key part of our strategy of ensuring we have resiliency throughout the Army, and clean energy technology is key to that strategy.

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Category: News, Sustainability

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