San Antonio Air Force base commissions 20-MW PV project

Ameresco, an energy efficiency and energy infrastructure company, announced it was awarded a contract by the Defense Logistics Agency Energy to implement a $133.5 million energy resilient infrastructure project at Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) in Texas. Ameresco will provide energy efficiency and reliability upgrades to 900 buildings across five military installations and will build a microgrid integrating 20 MW of new onsite energy photovoltaic (PV) assets, 4 MW of gas fired backup generation and 4 MW/8 MWh of battery energy storage to support critical energy loads for mission assurance.

“Ameresco is proud to support the mission of Joint Base San Antonio through energy assurance and new infrastructure,” said Nicole A. Bulgarino, executive vice president and general manager of federal solutions at Ameresco. “This project will provide critical infrastructure improvements to JBSA through energy conservation and will enhance the energy security of the installation through redundant, reliable backup generation assets.”

The Defense Logistics Agency Energy awarded the contract to Ameresco under a self-funding Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). The ESPC will provide work to all areas of JBSA including Lackland Air Force Base, Fort Sam Houston, Randolph Air Force Base, Kelly Field Annex, Camp Bullis and Medina Annex.

This $133.5 million task order leverages $2.7 million of Facilities Sustainment Restoration and Modernization (FSRM) funds as a direct investment in the project. More than 14.7 million square feet of buildings will receive energy and water conservation upgrades designed to reduce energy consumption in the buildings by 24% annually. The installation of new onsite energy systems will offset electricity purchases from the grid and will provide energy security and resiliency.

The ESPC will provide for HVAC management control systems, over 2 million gallons of thermal energy storage, new LED lighting and building envelope improvements. More than 140,000 LED lighting systems will be installed across JBSA.

To support energy assurance, Ameresco will install new onsite distributed energy assets capable of islanding from the electric utility, including a combined heat and power (CHP) system comprised of nine microturbines for a total capacity of 585 kW, 4-MW of natural gas-fired standby generation and an 11.7-MW groundmount solar PV array at the Security Hill Landfill at Lackland Air Force Base and over 5 MW of roof-mount PV at Fort Sam Houston. The solar PV array will provide a beneficial use of over 50 acres of undeveloped land located at the landfill. Ameresco has selected San Antonio-based Mission Solar Energy to manufacture and provide over 54,200,370 W of Buy-American compliant solar modules to be used in the project.

The microgrid consists of a diverse portfolio of assets that allow for uninterrupted off-grid operations to ensure the continuity of the JBSA mission. The microgrid control system is capable of providing off-grid operation of 11.7 MW of photovoltaic generation while leveraging the integrated use of 4 MW/8 MWh of battery energy storage and 4 MW of gas fired generators to provide sustained electrical supply to critical building during the event of a utility outage or grid disruption.

The ESPC is guaranteed to provide $8.7 million in annual energy savings to JBSA. Ameresco will provide ongoing operations and maintenance (O&M) services to the base in support of the new energy systems. Ameresco will begin construction this fall and is scheduled to complete construction during in the summer of 2021. The buildings at JBSA will continue to be operational during the construction period.

News item from Ameresco

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