In a speech at a military energy conference last week, Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn III lauded ESTCP's Installation Energy Test Bed initiative as a significant component in the military's efforts to use emerging energy technologies as a way to improve operational effectiveness and cut costs.
Deputy Secretary Lynn made his remarks at the 2011 Army - Air Force Energy Forum, a gathering of leaders from the Department of Defense, Congress, industry, and federal agencies, including Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu. The forum focused on the strategic importance and future direction of energy for the Army and Air Force.
In his speech, Deputy Secretary Lynn cited the Installation Energy Test Bed initiative as the latest example in DoD's long history of serving as the nation's "ultimate test bed."
"Whether it was advancing nuclear power in the 1960s, helping invent the Internet in the 1970s, or developing microelectronic s and high performance computing in the 1980s and 1990s, the Department has a proven track record of leveraging our R&D funds and buying power to seed new industries," Deputy Secretary Lynn said.
In the case of DoD installations, where the buildings and systems are the same as those used in commercial industry, any innovations achieved there can be transferred directly to the rest of the economy, Deputy Secretary Lynn explained.
"And because of our size and ability to serve as a sophisticated first user and early customer, the military can jump-start the broader commercial adoption of innovative energy technologies," he said. "Our Installation Energy Test Bed program aims to do just this."
DoD is responsible for more than 300,000 structures and 2.2 billion square feet of space on its installations. The Department spends $4 billion a year just to buy the energy needed to run its facilities. Using innovative energy technologies, such as those demonstrated through the ESTCP Installation Energy Test Bed initiative, could reduce demand by significant amounts - up to 50 percent in existing buildings and 70 percent in new construction, Deputy Secretary Lynn said.
He cited several examples of relatively simple technologies already being demonstrated, including advanced lighting systems that calibrate their output to the amount of available daylight and use occupancy sensors to turn lights on and off.
He also described more complex demonstrations, such as the energy management system at Great Lakes Naval Station, which deploys distributed sensors to optimize performance on a continuous basis, and the new microgrid technology at Twenty Nine Palms, a Marine base in the Mojave Desert, where a system of self- generated electricity and intelligent controls can be operated independently if the commercial grid space goes down.
"Microgrids improve energy efficiency, make it easier to incorporate solar and wind power and ensure that power can be directed to facilities that need it most," Deputy Secretary Lynn said. "Most importantly, they reduce the vulnerability of our power supplies to disruption."
Response from industry to the ESTCP Installation Energy Test Bed initiative has been "dramatic." The latest solicitation generated 600 proposals for technology demonstration projects. "And we are going to fund as many as we can," Deputy Secretary Lynn said.
To view Deputy Secretary of Defense Lynn's full speech, visit www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1594.
To learn more about ESTCP's Installation Energy Test Bed initiative and its associated demonstration projects, visit www.serdp-estcp.org/Featured-Initiatives/Installation-Energy.