The recently appointed director of the office focused on the
Army’s renewable energy program sat with U.S. Army Engineering and Support
Center, Huntsville directors, program and project managers, information
technology specialists and contracting officials for a synopsis of the Center’s
mission and capabilities during a visit here May 6.
Tapped as OEI executive director in January, Mike McGhee met
with the Center’s Energy Division team, which works closely with OEI to procure
and manage large-scale renewable energy projects bringing energy security to
Army installations worldwide.
Huntsville Center’s Energy Division recently teamed with OEI
and other agencies to award a large-scale solar array project for Redstone
According to Paul Robinson, Huntsville Center Energy
Division chief, McGhee’s visit allowed his team to provide more in-depth looks
into all Energy Division programs as well as meet with others to facilitate a
better understanding of the Center’s mission.
“We allotted time for Energy Division staff to meet with Mike
McGhee, but we also thought it would be an excellent opportunity for him to
learn holistically about the Center’s operations,” Robinson said.
Throughout the day, McGhee met with leadership from the
Center’s Installation Support and Programs Management (ISPM), Engineering
Directorate (ED), and Contracting Directorate (CT), as well as representatives
from the Center’s Office of Counsel and Resource Management.
From his first day on the job at OEI, McGhee said it was apparent
that the relationship between OEI and Huntsville Center is extremely important
to achieving mandates identified in Congress' 2007 National Defense
Authorization Act for the Army to consume 25 percent of its electricity from
renewable sources by 2025.
“This is a fantastic group of people that are service
oriented and have the Army’s interest at heart and coming here and meeting all
the folks is only strengthening my understanding of how valuable Huntsville
Center is to us,” McGhee said.
Although the scope of OEI is large-scale renewable energy,
McGhee said it’s likely his office and Huntsville Center will expand work on future
energy security projects.
“With energy security you need renewable energy as a
generating asset but you also need to couple that with a storage component and
a microgrid component,” McGhee said.
“What we’re talking with the folks at Huntsville Center about
today is how we can fulfill that larger expansion into complete energy security
so there is definitely more opportunity with Huntsville Center and our office
to work together on projects into the future,” McGhee said.