Col. Robert Ruch, commander, U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, participated in a groundbreaking ceremony March 19 to kick off a $61 million infrastructure modernization project at the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center.
The project will support critical infrastructure improvements at the industrial facility that will cut energy use by approximately 35 percent, and generate up to $5.3 million in annual energy and operational savings.
The Army launched the technology center upgrades through two task orders on a 20-year energy savings performance contract with Honeywell that was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Huntsville Center. Honeywell guarantees the improvements will generate the target savings, which should repay the investment used to fund the work. As a result, the project requires no capital or additional taxpayer dollars upfront.
Ruch joined the RIA-JMTC Commander Col. David J. Luders; Kevin Madden, vice president and general manager of Honeywell’s Federal Systems Group; and Rep. Dave Loebsack, who represents Iowa’s second congressional district, in the ceremony.
“This is the new way we measure success in the Army,” Ruch said when referencing the importance of energy conservation. “It is important for us to celebrate events like this.”
The Huntsville Center is the Corps of Engineers’ Center of Expertise for ESPC.
In the ceremony, Luders discussed the importance this brings to the Army’s only vertically integrated metal manufacturer.
“We have been providing the best products and services to our armed forces for more than 150 years,” Luders said.
“This project lets us tackle our aging infrastructure head on, a difficult task in light of budget cutbacks, so we can operate as efficiently as possible and support mission readiness.”
RIA-JMTC accounts for two-thirds of the Garrison’s overall energy consumption. Along with the immediate savings, the project will help the Garrison meet the requirements of a Presidential Executive Order that calls for federal facilities to reduce energy consumption 30 percent by 2015.
As part of the project, Honeywell will implement a variety of facility improvements, which includes installing high-efficiency HVAC systems, such as on-premise natural-gas heating that will allow the facility to disconnect from the Garrison’s central coal-fired steam plant. Another major upgrade is new plating and paint systems for the technology center.
“Honeywell made facility improvement recommendations as part of a 20-year, $61 million energy savings performance contract, which enables the RIA-JMTC to tackle upgrades using the energy and operational savings the improvements deliver, savings guaranteed by Honeywell,” Madden said.
Almost 90 percent of the parts produced at the facility go through plating and paint, receiving the surface coatings necessary to build hardened, durable components for Army equipment.
The project will save nearly 5.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year – enough energy to power almost 490 homes on average, Madden said.