Honeywell Building Solutions and the U.S. Army have announced a $61-million infrastructure modernization project at the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing Technology Center (JMTC). The project will support critical infrastructure improvements at the industrial facility that will cut energy use by approximately 35 percent, and generate up to $5.3 million in annual energy and operational savings.

The Army launched the technology center upgrades through a 20-year energy savings performance contract with Honeywell that was awarded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, AL. Honeywell guarantees the improvements will generate the target savings, which should repay the investment used to fund the work. As a result, the project requires no capital or additional taxpayer dollars upfront.

The 1.5-million-square-foot JMTC manufactures a wide variety of metal parts and systems for the Department of Defense, and is part of the Rock Island Arsenal Garrison located in Rock Island, Ill., the largest government-owned and operated Arsenal in the U.S.

JMTC accounts for two-thirds of the Garrison’s overall energy consumption. So along with the immediate savings, the project will help the Garrison meet the requirements of a Presidential Executive Order that calls for federal facilities to reduce energy consumption 30 percent by 2015.

As part of the project, Honeywell will implement a variety of facility improvements, which includes installing high-efficiency HVAC systems, such as on-premise natural-gas heating that
will allow the facility to disconnect from the Garrison’s central coal-fired steam plant.

“Why pay bills that are higher than necessary because of energy waste?” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “By improving overall efficiency, we’re able to use part of the current utility spend to solve complex infrastructure challenges. JMTC is a cornerstone of the community, and its aggressive approach to energy management will help ensure its legacy of service and support to the military and country.”

The project will save nearly 5.5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year — enough energy to power almost 490 homes on average. In addition, the Honeywell work is expected to deliver environmental benefits. As a result of transitioning to natural-gas heating, for example, annual coal use at the central plant will drop by approximately 12,000 tons.

With one of the largest Environmental Protection Agency air permits in Illinois, this will significantly reduce the Garrison’s eco-footprint, cutting an estimated 63 million pounds of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of removing more 6,300 cars from the road.

Honeywell and the Army will begin the project this month and expect to complete the upgrades by the first half of 2017.