DOD's Dr. Get Moy on Energy Security

November 11, 2003

Photo of Dr. Get W. Moy.

Dr. Get W. Moy, P.E., Director of Utilities & Energy, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment).

FEMP recently spoke with Dr. Get W. Moy, P.E., Director of Utilities & Energy, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment), who offers insight on DOD's energy program and how they approach such issues as security of utility infrastructure, the role of distributed generation and renewable energy, and fluctuations of energy prices. Dr. Moy is responsible for the development, implementation, and oversight of Defense policy in the areas of energy and water resource management, utility acquisition, and utilities privatization.

FEMP Focus: Please describe the mission of the Utilities and Energy Office, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment).

Dr. Get Moy: Our mission is to ensure that the DOD utility infrastructure is secure, safe, reliable, and efficient; that energy and water commodities are procured effectively and efficiently; and, that the components maximize energy and water conservation efforts. The Department has made great strides in energy efficiency and consumption reduction but must do more in order to meet the Departmental vision of providing reliable and cost effective utility services to the warfighter.

FEMP Focus: You mentioned the security of DOD's utility infrastructure, what is your office's strategy for ensuring this?

Dr. Get Moy: The Department has set a course to modernize our infrastructure in order to provide more reliable utilities and improve energy flexibility through expanded use of renewable energy.

FEMP Focus: Can you explain what utility privatization is and how it contributes to energy security?

Dr. Get Moy: Historically, military installations have been unable to maintain reliable utility systems due to inadequate funding, and competing installation management and operational priorities. Utilities privatization is the preferred method for modernizing and recapitalizing DOD utility systems. By allowing military installations to focus on core defense missions and functions instead of the responsibilities of utility ownership, this program will transform how installations maintain utility services. By becoming smart buyers of utility services, activities will benefit from innovative industry practices, the reliability of systems kept at current industry standards, and private sector financing and efficiencies. Following the guidance issued on October´┐Ż9, 2002, the Military Services shall complete privatization decisions on all electric, water, wastewater, and natural gas systems by September 30, 2005. Except where the Service Secretary has certified that the systems are exempt due to security reasons or privatization is uneconomical, Services will privatize those types of utility systems at every Active, Reserve, and National Guard installation, within the United States and overseas, that is not designated for closure under a base closure law. Since upgrades are normally completed within 5 years after a privatization award is made, all privatized systems should be operated and maintained at an equivalent industry standard level by 2010. Maintaining the readiness level to this standard will enhance our energy security as it pertains to reliability.

FEMP Focus: What about the role of distributed generation and renewable energy in ensuring DOD's energy security?

Dr. Get Moy: DOD is committed to creating opportunities to install distributed generation, including the use of renewable energy technologies, when life-cycle cost-effective to enhance energy flexibility and security. Distributed energy resources will be used for on-site generation using micro-turbines, fuel cells, combined heat and power, and renewable technologies when determined to be life-cycle cost effective or to provide flexibility and security to mitigate unacceptable risk. Off-grid generation, owned and operated by Defense Components may make sense for mission criticality and remote sites when it is life-cycle cost-effective. In these cases, innovative energy generation technologies such as solar lighting, large photovoltaic arrays, wind turbine generators, micro-turbines, and fuel cell demonstration projects shall be utilized. Passive solar designs, such as building orientation and window placement and sizing, are also implemented in a variety of building types and new facility construction. The Department is currently formulating a comprehensive renewable energy development and purchasing plan which will be used as our road map toward achieving increased energy security. The plan will explore efficiency opportunities in life-cycle cost effective renewable energy technologies such as wind, biomass, geothermal, ground source heat pumps, and photovoltaics. Self-generated power is currently coupled with ground-source heat pumps, solar water heating systems, and photovoltaic arrays to generate electricity at isolated locations, such as range targets, airfield landing strip lighting, and remote water pumping stations.

FEMP Focus: Many of our readers are facility managers of individual buildings or installations, can you offer them any insights about how they can achieve a level of energy security in their buildings?

Dr. Get Moy: Ultimately, energy security is defined as providing reliable and cost effective utility services to the building occupant. As a team, they need to come to grips with how best that can be achieved, in the provisions of the primary power, back-up power, on-site generation, or flexible energy sources.

FEMP Focus: The inevitable fluctuations of energy prices also pose a threat to energy security. What is DOD's strategy for dealing with these situations?

Dr. Get Moy: EO 13123 requires that federal agencies take advantage of competitive opportunities in the electricity and natural gas markets to reduce costs and enhance services. Defense Components are partnering with the Defense Energy Support Center (DESC) to identify and develop risk mitigation strategies appropriate for their risk preference profile and are considering aggregation of demand across facilities or agencies to maximize our economic advantage. For example, it is DOD's policy to competitively acquire direct supply natural gas under the Direct Supply Natural Gas Program (DSNG) managed by DESC when cost effective and the anticipated reduced energy costs have the same degree of supply reliability as other practicable alternative energy sources.

FEMP Focus: What did we learn from the California electricity crisis of 2001? Is DOD prepared for similar threats to reliability in the future?

Dr. Get Moy: Interestingly enough, the Department was not affected by any major utility outages during the crisis, however we did encounter an economical impact due to the escalating cost of energy. As a result of the President's May 3, 2001 Directive, DOD Installations' emergency load reduction plans were updated. Defense Components continue to identify load shedding techniques to cut electricity consumption in buildings and facilities during power emergencies. Examples of the techniques being used include: EMCS; sub-metering; cogeneration; thermal storage systems; duty cycling of A/C in military family housing by EMCS; alternative energy sources for air-conditioning; and turning off unneeded lights with motion sensors and separate lighting circuits. In addition, the Department continues to focus its energy conservation program on measures that reduce electric consumption. Also, the Department continues to pursue use of alternative energy sources as a means to improve flexibility and to help sustain critical operations.

FEMP Focus: Could you cite some specific DOD installations or projects which exemplify DOD's approach to energy security?

Dr. Get Moy: A model example of a comprehensive energy security program is the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command at Twentynine Palms, California. They awarded an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) valued at approximately $51 million. ESPCs are a contract mechanism which allow federal agencies to fund improvements from energy savings and energy-related operational savings using standard performance guarantees. It is estimated that the ESPC will save the base about $6.9 million each year during the course of the contract's 20-year term, for a total savings of $138 million. The 7 megawatt cogeneration system includes construction and maintenance of three chilled water plants, a photovoltaic plant, solar daylighting, and an energy management system. The plant's 1.1 megawatt photovoltaic cell array will require six to eight acres of land on the base, and will be used to supplement electric capacity during peak load periods.

The contract also includes the installation of lighting controls and daylighting in a dozen warehouses on the base to help reduce peak energy demand. Overall annual energy reduction resulting from this ESPC will be more than 180 billion Btu per year, reducing the Base's current electricity consumption by 76 percent. The cogeneration plant provides for the capture of waste heat from power production, thus increasing fuel utilization efficiency. Waste heat-steam from the cogeneration plant will provide thermal energy for absorption chillers to support operation of a new chilled water distribution system. The cogeneration plant and photovoltaic systems provide the Base with a sizeable stand-alone source of reliable, efficient, and secure electricity and hot water. The cogeneration plant will supply four main feeder lines to the central portion of the Base, providing an uninterrupted power supply of the critical base loads in the event of utility interruptions, and will provide 68 percent (56,402 megawatt-hours per year) of the Base's electricity requirement.

FEMP Focus: As a FEMP constituent, how do you think FEMP can facilitate energy security throughout the government?

Dr. Get Moy: DOD is pursuing off-grid generation to provide security and flexibility where it is life-cycle cost effective. FEMP's Distributed Energy Resources (DER) and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Programs provide DER workshops/training and free CHP screening to the Military Services. Additionally, partnerships with the private sector through Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESC) and ESPCs are a crucial tool for financing energy efficiency measures that allow installations to improve and modernize their infrastructure and pay for energy efficiency measures through the savings generated by the project over time. DOD Installations and Major Commands can use FEMP's Super ESPCs and UESCs to provide alternative financing contracting vehicles in addition to Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Huntsville Engineering and Support Center, and DESC (a few Commands and Installations use their own internally developed ESPC contracts). The DOE FEMP/DOD ESPC Steering Group is also an active proponent in developing policy that not only affects DOD but transcends across all agencies. In the near term, FEMP could take the lead in developing a universal definition of energy security that can be consistently used throughout the federal sector. The Department looks to FEMP for developing and employing tools and authorities for agencies to use, establishing and maintaining communications avenues across the Federal sector, and being the Federal advocate for energy programs. Remember, FEMP's mission is energy. Our mission is defense of the country.

FEMP Focus: Thank you for speaking with us. Do you have any final thoughts to share with our readers?

Dr. Get Moy:

  • Reliability
  • Efficiency
  • Conservation
  • Flexibility
  • Security

These are hallmarks of the DOD energy program. The innovative nature of our people, the mission we support, and the partnerships that we have with our fellow agencies, all contribute to define the urgency of our programs and their successful accomplishments.

For more information, please see the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations and Environment) Web site at