AFCEC earns 2020 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards

  • Published
  • By Sarah McNair
  • AFIMSC Public Affairs

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – The Air Force Civil Engineer Center’s Energy Directorate was recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program recently for its outstanding achievements and contributions in the areas of energy efficiency, resilience and technology achievement. 

The directorate’s program development division received two 2020 FEMP Awards: one in the program category for overall performance contract program results in fiscal year 2019, and another in the contracting category for the energy savings performance contract awarded for Misawa Air Base, Japan.

“Winning these awards validates all of the hard work the program development division put into this third-party financed program,” said Les Martin, program development division chief from 2016 through 2020. “In six years, the program grew from almost nothing to more than $1.5 billion and growing,” he said.  

Winning these awards is a huge accomplishment for the program development team, said Maj. Nate Thomsen, deputy director for AFCEC’s Energy Directorate.

“It’s a huge credit to the team because they have practically reinvented the ESPC program in the last few years to focus on energy resiliency — the ability for our installations to perform the mission during and recover from threats,” said Thomsen. "ESPCs can increase energy resiliency in many ways such as installing new distributed generation and improved energy grids. Mike’s (Ringenberg) ESPC team and the engineers at Air Force bases around the world make these projects happen.” 

The performance contract program achievements award, recognizes AFCEC project managers: Tom Laney, now-retired Mike Allision, Mark Dent, program manager Mike Ringenberg and former division chief Les Martin. The centralized AFCEC program supports all third-party financed contracts developed for Air Force installations worldwide, from concept through construction, implementation and reporting for the term of the projects.   

“I am really appreciative that our team is being recognized by FEMP for all of the continuous hard work on the ESPC Program,” said Laney, energy project manager. “Our team provides professional technical, engineering and statistical analysis as well as quality control to ensure performance, while working with all stakeholders, including base and contracting personnel and energy service companies, to move projects over the finish line to award completion. Saving energy while providing infrastructure improvements and increasing energy resiliency to support the Air Force enterprise is extremely gratifying.” 
The team developed and awarded 25 ESPCs between 2016 and 2019, reaching an implementation value of nearly $1 billion, but generating guaranteed energy savings for the next 22 years.  

The second award recognizes the team members who took part in awarding the Misawa AB ESPC: Mike Ringenberg, ESPC program manager; Mark Dent, energy project manager; Jacob Vigil, Defense Logistics Agency-Energy contracting officer; David Eiler, 35th Civil Engineering Squadron former contracting officer representative for Misawa and Joseph Domeier, installation management flight chief.  

After the Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure shifted its primary energy initiative to increasing resiliency, AFCEC successfully revectored its efforts and projects toward maximizing resiliency to meet those requirements, Martin said.  

“The project awarded for Misawa AB, as well as Kadena, Osan, Yokota and Kunsan Air Bases, were pacesetters for the federal government,” Martin said. “We found ways to bundle conservation energy conservation measures, or ECMs, to pay for resiliency ECMs while mandating metered baselines, robust measurement and verification plans, along with adding contractor-required operations and maintenance.”

The Misawa ESPC, awarded Dec. 20, 2018, included an implementation cost of nearly $207 million, with no upfront costs to the government. The infrastructure improvements included in the project scope generate an annual energy savings of 258,697 million British thermal units through conservation in conjunction with distributed and renewable energy distribution resources. 

“The (Liquefied Natural Gas) storage facility implemented at Misawa AB is the first of its kind at a Department of Defense installation and represents a new ability to store a cheaper and plentiful fuel source for the Air Force,” Dent said.

The project upgrades also added ancillary benefits for the base, such as improved operational security, inventory control, simplified procurement and enterprise-wide robust cybersecurity.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to lead the directorate’s third-party finance program,” Ringenberg said.  “The Air Force is reaping the benefits of more than $1.5 billion in awarded projects for installations around the world thanks to the diligence of AFCEC’s energy professionals. I’m amazed by what our team accomplished by incorporating more than $400 million in renewable energy and distributive generation and I’m excited for what the future holds.”