Garrison hosts Army energy leader

The Honorable Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment, visited Stuttgart Sept. 7 as part of a Europe-wide trip to learn about energy and cost-saving initiatives across the theater.

During her visit, she took the opportunity to speak to U.S. Army Africa Command staff and went on a walking tour of Kelley Barracks with the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart director of Public Works.

During the walking tour, Hammack learned about a variety of garrison projects that aren’t just “green” in nature, but also save taxpayers green. Some of the initiatives highlighted were the addition of light-emitting diode, or LED lights, in office spaces and installation of motion sensors that automatically shut off lights after a short amount of time when there is no movement in the area. The lights and sensors located across the Stuttgart installations lower energy costs around $210,000 per year. DPW officials also highlighted the solar photovoltaic panels installed atop their building in 2010, which offset almost half of the building’s electrical energy consumption, generating almost 57 megawatt hours of electricity last fiscal year. Use of these panels also effectively eliminates 53 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. The garrison and DPW have another $3 million earmarked for additional solar projects on other buildings which will continue to chip away at energy costs in the future. Winters in Germany can be bitterly cold at times, which can lead to high annual heating bills; however, USAG Stuttgart is working on ways to cut those costs as well. The garrison is partnering with host nation utility companies to modernize the heating supply system on nearby Panzer Kaserne, which will cut the need for heating oil on that installation by more than 70 percent. Along with that initiative, some of the garbage that the garrison produces will also be incinerated, producing heat that will warm buildings on Panzer. Also discussed during the tour was the future installation of water faucet aerators, designed to conserve water by limiting the flow that comes through them. The current water flow within the garrison is almost nine liters per minute. Once the aerators are installed, that number will decrease to 1.7 liters. Hammack was impressed with Stuttgart’s goals to become greener and save on energy costs, according to Kathleen Cole, deputy to the USAG Stuttgart commander.

“USAG Stuttgart is committed to conservation — both fiscally and environmentally,” said Cole. “Ms. Hammack’s visit was a great opportunity for us to show that to our higher headquarters.”