White Sands Missile Range was recognized at this year’s Secretary of the Army Energy and Water Management Awards held at the Pentagon Oct. 29.
WSMR Garrison Energy Manager Craig Collins and his team were recognized for their achievements in energy efficiency and energy management for construction of a 4.5 megawatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power plan system, which includes a solar carport.
WSMR Garrison Commander Col. Brian Michelson and Collins accepted the award from the Honorable Katherine Hammack, the assistant Secretary of the Army, Richard Kidd, deputy assistant secretary of the Army for Energy and Sustainability, and Lt. Gen. David Halverson, assistant chief of staff for Installation Management during the ceremony.
“Today we celebrate excellence in Energy and Water Management on our installations. We are very proud to present some of our heroes who have embraced the principles of Net Zero and are leading their installations to increased resiliency with energy and water security,” Hammack said.
The plaque was awarded to Collins, Irene Beck, Contract/Construction branch chief, George Dill, Roads and Grounds section supervisor, and Jose Gallegos, Environmental Division chief for the small group division. The “small group” from WSMR was recognized for their contributions in the construction of the solar array. “This solar project was a team effort from all of DPW. There were many players involved that made the project successful,” Collins said. The solar array is a $16.8 million, 4.5 megawatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic power plant system spread across 42 acres. Construction was funded through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). The array includes the ability to track the sun across the sky, a solar carport with a two car charging system. The system can also provide power for the Headquarters Building, which qualifies it as a Net Zero energy building. Power that is not used by the Headquarters Building is redirected to the distribution system, owned by the government, for use by other facilities.
The energy the solar array generates is consumed by the installation. The array provides an annual cost avoidance of $698,000 and saves 30,000 million BTUs of energy per year.
Collins said he and his team are currently working on a second project at the Aquatics Center. The team is building a solar powered water heater that will provide 35 percent of the energy needed to heat the pool. The expected annual cost avoidance on the project is $8,200.