Army Identifies Net Zero Pilot Installations (With Video)

The Army has announced the locations identified to be pilot net zero installations. As part of the Army's overall effort to conserve precious resources, net zero installations will consume only as much energy or water as they produce and eliminate solid waste to landfills.

The announcement initiates the programmatic environmental analysis and planning process for the Army's Net Zero Installation Strategy. Specifics for projects and initiatives will be determined through a programmatic environmental analysis which will include public engagement and stakeholder outreach.

"The Army has identified six net zero pilot installations in each of the energy, water, and waste categories and two integrated installations striving towards net zero by 2020. This is a significant step in addressing the Army's sustainability and energy security challenges," said Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for installations, energy and environment, who made the announcement at the opening session of the annual Association of United States Army Installation Command Symposium. "Striving for net zero is operationally necessary, financially prudent, and critical to our mission."

A net zero energy installation produces as much energy on site as it uses, over the course of a year. The Army's pilot net zero energy installations are:

  • Fort Detrick, Md.;
  • Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.;
  • Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands;
  • Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, Calif.;
  • Sierra Army Depot, Calif.;
  • West Point, N.Y.

Additionally, the Oregon Army National Guard volunteered to pilot a unique and challenging Net Zero Energy Initiative, which includes all of their installations across the state.

This strategy will be included in the environmental analysis.

A net zero water installation limits the consumption of freshwater resources and returns water back to the same watershed so as not to deplete the groundwater and surface water resources of that region in quantity and quality over the course of a year. The pilot net zero water installations are:

  • Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md.;
  • Camp Rilea, Ore.;
  • Fort Buchanan, Puerto Rico;
  • Fort Riley, Kan.;
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.;
  • Tobyhanna Army Depot, Pa.

A net zero waste installation reduces, reuses, and recovers waste streams, converting them to resource values with zero landfill over the course of a year. The Army's pilot net zero waste installations are:

  • Fort Detrick, Md.;
  • Fort Hood, Texas;
  • Fort Hunter Liggett, Calif.;
  • Fort Polk, La.;
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash.;
  • U.S. Army Garrison, Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Two installations volunteered to be integrated net zero installations: Fort Bliss, Texas, and Fort Carson, Colo. A net zero installation is comprised of three interrelated components: net zero energy, net zero water, and net zero waste.

Hammack said the installations will become centers of environmental and energy excellence as they participate in the Net Zero Installation Strategy programmatic environmental planning process, showcase best management practices, and demonstrate effective resource management. Further, they will establish a framework of reduction, re-purposing, recycling and composting, energy recovery, and disposal to guide them towards achieving net zero in an environmentally responsible, cost-effective and efficient manner.

As part of the pilot, the installations will also participate in a kick-off meeting in June to receive training and showcase their proposed strategies to achieve net zero. Each installation will participate in monthly conference calls and share experiences and lessons learned in newsletters and military and industry conferences. These installations will also participate in a programmatic environmental analysis and integrated planning process that will inform future decisions regarding impacts to resources throughout the Army's initiative. Public participation will be an integrated part of the process and part of the environmental planning process.

Three panels made the pilot installation recommendations from the 100 self-nominations (53 energy, 23 water, and 24 waste) received from 60 highly motivated installations managed by the Army National Guard, Army Materiel Command, Installation Management Command, Medical Command, Space and Missile Defense Command and the U.S. Army Reserve Command.

Installations that self-nominated for the pilot Net Zero Installation Initiative, but were not identified are highly encouraged to continue to strive towards net zero learning from the net zero journey of the pilot installations. In fiscal 2014 another 25 installations in each category will be asked to self-nominate to achieving net zero.

"I am amazed at the progress Army installations have already made to reduce energy and water consumption as well as waste generation. We will all monitor the journey these installations embark on to reach the final net zero goal," Hammack said.