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NEWS | April 2, 2021

JBSA continues adding renewable energy sources

By Lori A. Bultman 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

As Earth Day 2021 approaches, Joint Base San Antonio continues to do its part to utilize renewable energy sources and reduce emissions by installing solar energy systems at multiple locations across San Antonio.  

The current project underway was initiated by JBSA’s former, now retired, energy manager, Andy Hinojosa, as an energy security and resiliency project that would leverage the Department of Energy’s Energy Saving Performance Contracts, or ESPCs, according to William Schram, 802nd Civil Engineer Squadron project manager for energy at JBSA.  

Energy savings performance contracts allow federal agencies to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress.  

From the ESPC, the project was given to Defense Logistics Agency Energy to manage the acquisition and to follow the contract from award through construction, Schram said.  

The JBSA project involves the installation of solar energy systems on 55 buildings at the cost of about $46 million. Systems will be installed on JBSA-Lackland, -Kelly Annex, -Chapman Training Annex, and -Fort Sam Houston.  

Schram said the benefits of the new solar energy systems will be a reduction in energy demand from the local utility provider, which will free power for other uses, and a reduction in energy costs for the installation overall.  

The 55 systems will produce a little over 18 megawatts, or 26,783,122 kilowatt hours, per year, he said, adding that the projected savings for JBSA will be approximately $2.5 million annually. 

Schram said the contract includes a maintenance agreement for the systems for the duration of the contract, and roof maintenance on the buildings with photovoltaic, or PV, systems installed.  

The installation of the solar energy systems should not affect the buildings or the people inside. Most of the systems will be attached to building roofs with either a ballasted system for flat roofs or with clamps to standing seam metal roofs, and for the most part, out of public view.  

Since the inception of U.S. Department of Energy indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity ESPCs in 1998, agencies have used the ESPC contracting vehicle to significantly reduce energy and operating costs and make progress toward meeting federal sustainability goals.