Energy Program Leads Path for $67 Million Rock Island Arsenal Project

The U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville has signed off on a $67 million Energy Resilience & Conservation Investment Program (ERCIP) contract to provide Rock Island Arsenal (RIA) with secure, self-sufficient energy.

Huntsville Center Energy Division’s ERCIP is the Army’s requirement development experts providing planning and technical support to the Army by validating all ERCIP projects before they are submitted to the Department of Defense to compete for funding.

“To fulfill the Army’s energy resilience requirements, Rock Island Arsenal must submit a project proposal to the Office of the Secretary of Defense to compete for funding,” said Richard Moore, ERCIP project manager.

“It’s the job of Huntsville Center’s ERCIP validation team to lend technical support and planning guidance by validating the project.”

Rock Island Arsenal Rock Island Arsenal is a major Army installation employing more than 6,000 military, civilian and contractor personnel and is home to more than 80 tenant organizations providing critical products and services to all of U.S. armed services.

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This project supports Rock Island’s resilience to the effects of climate change by securing self-sufficient generation using a diverse set of assets including solar, hydro-electric and battery storage, alleviating reliance on its onsite fuel storage or the serving utility during manmade and natural emergencies.

The contract calls for a planned construct of a microgrid powered by approximately 14 MW natural gas (NG) generators, up to 3 MW solar photovoltaic array, and a 400 kW / 1.6 MWh battery energy storage system integrated with the existing 2.8 MW hydro-electric power plant totaling approximately 20 MW.

“The microgrid system will supply sufficient electricity for continued operation of all critical loads across Rock Island Arsenal during a grid outage for weeks and it will double the renewable energy capacity to almost 50% of critical load,” Moore said.

Absent of the microgrid solution, an extended outage at Rock Island Arsenal could disrupting manufacturing processes and operations vital to U.S. military efforts.

“We validated the project definition, technical feasibility, appropriate technology, estimated energy savings, and associated Life Cycle Cost Analysis by calculating the Savings to Investment Ratio (SIR) and payback years through a comprehensive process,” Moore said.

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Huntsville Center’s Energy Division provides cost savings to customers through an array of services including: critical energy analysis; planning and consultation; project management; acquisition support/tools; alternative financing and other services.

Doug Van Werden, RIA Energy Manager, said the ERCIP project will allow RIA to operate during an electrical outage for as long as needed with no impact to the installation mission.  

“Currently the post can only provide about 10-15% of the emergency power required,” he said.  “In the end, this project will allow RIA to continue supporting the war fighter world-wide during power outages while decreasing the post’s daily greenhouse gas production.  A win-win for the post the and the U.S. military world-wide.”

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