Public-private partnerships provide needed cost reductions
Expanding opportunities for creative partnerships between different Army components – Regular Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserve – and private sector entities can provide much-needed cost reductions in an uncertain budget environment, experts said during the Association of the U.S. Army’s Hot Topic forum on installation management March 31.
"The Army is the largest utility consumer in the federal government," and these costs are growing faster than savings, said Richard Kidd IV, who serves as deputy assistant secretary of the Army for energy and sustainability.
"We have cut our energy consumption by 22 percent, but costs have gone up by 45 percent," he said.
This offset creates a financial burden on Army installations.
Recently, as the energy environment has changed, public-private partnerships have been expanded for renewable energy production, Kidd said.
The most recent and biggest example of this has been at Fort Hood, Texas, where the Army will have 15 megawatts of solar energy on-site, and 45-50 megawatts of renewable wind energy outside the installation.
"That project is going to save the Army 169 million dollars over the next 25 years, through use of competitive forces in the marketplace that both builds resiliency and lowers cost," Kidd said.
Another example of Army efforts to improve and increase energy partnerships is in Georgia, where three 30-megawatt arrays will be constructed at Fort Benning, Fort Stewart and Fort Gordon.
Brig. Gen. Michael Stone, assistant adjutant general for installations for the Michigan Army National Guard, said the guard has always had a culture of working through state partnerships.
Sharing armories with the Navy allows the Army to "self-BRAC" [Base Realignment and Closure] and divest themselves of outdated facilities, he said.
This Hot Topic forum was sponsored by Corvias Military Living, an AUSA sustaining member company.