Tinker completes construction for the Air Force’s largest ESPC project

  • Published
  • By Sarah McNair
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Florida – The Air Force completed construction for a $243 million energy project at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, in September.

The Energy Savings Performance Contract project will improve energy efficiency and resiliency for the base, said Les Martin, acting director for the Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Energy Directorate.  

The largest ESPC project for the Air Force to date, Martin said the scope of Tinker’s project helped the Department of Defense meet critical goals. 

“The Tinker project was credited with helping the Department of Defense and the Federal Energy Management Program exceed the goals set forth for them in the President’s Performance Contracting Challenge,” he said. 

The collaborative effort between Tinker’s 72nd Civil Engineer Squadron and 76th Maintenance Support Group at the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex, AFCEC Energy and Operations Directorates, and the Defense Logistics Agency – Energy facilitated the contract award to Honeywell, the energy service company, in December 2016 for the upgrade and modernization of 57 buildings, totaling more than 10 million square feet by incorporating 25 Energy Conservation Measure upgrades. This project enabled OC-ALC at Tinker to improve the infrastructure on industrial processes and become the first federal government organization certified with ISO-50001. This certification provides sustained program structure and imposes a rigorous international energy management standard centered around continual improvement, enhancing energy, controlling costs, operations and maintenance savings and safety. 

“This project implemented significant upgrades increasing reliability to OC-ALC's facilities and contributing to Tinker no longer being the Air Force’s largest energy consumer,” said Joseph Cecrle, OC-ALC's energy manager. “The ISO 50001 Energy Management System certification also satisfies the Air Force Sustainment Center’s Art of the Possible for continuous energy improvements.” 

OC-ALC is one of the largest units in Air Force Materiel Command. The complex is responsible for providing aircraft maintenance, modifications, overhaul and repair including battle damage repair for a wide variety of commodities for the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and foreign military sales. The scope of this large-scale ESPC will increase reliability and resiliency with emphasis on its industrial infrastructure process improvements to increase productivity and operational efficiency. Energy-related and process improvements included: 

• two new 2,000-ton chillers to increase the reliability of the cooling system
• more efficient LED lighting with wireless controls
• automated tank covers and software to schedule production equipment
• smart meters to monitor and track building energy consumption more effectively
• new infrared heating at openings
• an Energy Management Control System
• demand control ventilation
• new compressed air retrofits
• upgrades to painting and thermal spray booths to increase reliability and safety through enhanced controls and sensors
• updated wastewater treatment systems to provide equipment control and alarm monitoring
• replaced aging high-pressure gas distribution systems to improve worker protection
• decentralized steam heating plant with a distributed heat system to reduce energy use

“With the dedication and commitment of Tinker civil engineers and OC-ALC personnel, DLA-E and Honeywell, this construction effort successfully accomplished the first Air Force project to address improvements in energy-intensive, process-related areas and it will pay for itself within the 22-year term,” said Tom Laney, project manager for AFCEC’s Energy Directorate. 

These improvements will generate a savings of 641 million British thermal units per year and more than 38 million gallons of water and wastewater. Based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s average annual household electricity consumption for 2015, that's enough energy to power 17 homes for a year and enough water to fill 57 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Tinker, previously the Air Force’s largest single-site energy consumer, will see a 35-percent reduction in energy usage and 9 percent in decreased water usage with $20.5 million in avoided utility and operation and maintenance expenditures. 

“The ESPC program gives the Air Force an important tool to make smart energy decisions, optimize energy using 21st century technologies and support mission assurance through energy assurance,” said Dan Soto, director of AFCEC’s Energy Directorate. 

Air Force readiness requires resilient energy to meet critical mission needs and support the enterprise. To date, AFCEC’s Energy Directorate has collaborated with contracting groups to develop and award $1.4 billion in energy savings contracts. Installations interested in pursuing energy projects can contact AFCEC through the Reach-back Center at (888) 232-3721 or AFCEC.RBC@us.af.mil.