Call to Order and Roll Call
The4th meeting of the Special Subcommittee on Energy was held on Friday, September 18, 2015, at 9:00 AM, at the Bullion Room, Fort Knox, Kentucky. Senator Jared Carpenter, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Jared Carpenter, Co-Chair; Senators Ernie Harris, Dorsey Ridley, and Robin L. Webb; Representatives Tim Couch, Jim Gooch Jr., Jerry T. Miller, Dean Schamore, John Short, and Brent Yonts.
Guests: Senator Dennis Parrett, Robert “RJ” Dyrdek, Energy Program Manager-CEM, Directorate of Public Works, United States Army, Tom Abele, Vice President, Harshaw Trane, and Mike Weaver, Mayor of Radcliff.
LRC Staff: D. Todd Littlefield, Janine Coy-Geeslin, and Susan Spoonamore, Committee Assistant.
Tour of Fort Knox Energy Conservation Efforts
Mr. Robert “RJ” Dyrdek, Energy Program Manager-CEM, Directorate of Public Works, United States Army, explained that Fort Knox is the 6th largest city in Kentucky. Fort Knox has a weekday population of 25,000. He said that the 2009 ice storm knocked out power to the military base for five days. U. S. Army officials have said that would never happen to them again. Since then, Fort Knox has completed a $60 million energy project that provides the base with 44 MW of peak-load power. Four of six gas-fired Cat® generators provide power to the base 24/7 through a combined heat and power (CHP) system. Besides providing energy security, the new power system has reduced the base’s energy costs by an estimated $8 million per year. The total project payback is expected in approximately seven and one-half years.
Mr. Tom Abele, Vice President and project developer for Harshaw Trane, said that Fort Know is one of the best military bases in the world for overall energy reduction. CHP systems are efficient, capturing heat generated when producing power. Buildings use the captured heat in various forms such as steam heat, hot water, and in chillers to produce air-conditioning. The captured heat is converted into chilled water to serve Fort Knox’s data center, and air-conditioning and heating is provided to the 400 bed hospital and the extremely large Human Resources Center. The Human Resources Center is the largest office building in the state, employing approximately 4,300 soldiers and civilians. Harshaw Trane has partnered with Caterpillar dealer Whayne Power Systems, which provided 16 of the 21 generators.
In response to Senator Carpenter, Mr. Dyrdek said that the monthly energy bill of $1.5 million had been reduced by 50 percent.
Senator Parrett stated that approximately 22,000 to 25,000 people live on base. He praised the energy conservations efforts and noted the numerous energy awards received, including the coveted Secretary of the Army Energy Award.
Mayor Mike Weaver asked how Fort Knox compares to other Army installation in energy conservation. Mr. Dyrdek said that Fort Knox always ranks either 1st, 2nd or 3rd.
In closing, Mr. Dyrdek stated that Fort Knox expects to complete a project converting methane gas from shale gas reserves into enough electricity for the entire post.
There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.