374th CES and Schneider Electric host power plant tour for future generations

  • Published
  • By Machiko Arita
  • 374th Airlift Wing public affairs
The 374th Civil Engineer Squadron and U.S. contractor Schneider Electric hosted a tour of the Combined Heating and Power (CHP) plant to educate and inform interested middle and high school students and their parents on March 23, 2023, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.

“This was an uncommon and special opportunity to offer a hands-on learning experience with the new plant facility nearing the end of its construction testing phase,” said Nick Canton, Schneider Electric energy manager.

This CHP plant began active construction in 2020 and is part of an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). An ESPC is a partnership between federal agencies and energy service companies that provides energy savings, resiliency, and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs to the government.

CHP is a process that captures and utilizes the heat that is a by-product of the electricity generation process to enable a more efficient system.

“The CHP plant provides reliable, clean and efficient electricity and steam production for the base,” said Canton. “Additionally, Yokota's new capabilities to generate and control its own power on a smart localized microgrid will lift a substantial load off Japan's strained power grid. This reduction of energy consumption and demand on the grid is especially important during peak usage times of the summer when the grid is most vulnerable.”

Projected completion of the ESPC project is expected this calendar year once this CHP plant has been fully commissioned and proven capable of sustained and stable operations.

“The CHP plant tour was a great opportunity to educate and inspire future generations about the importance of smart and sustainable energy and the technology behind it,” said Canton. “We hope this experience will encourage students to pursue educational and career opportunities in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, and become future leaders in whatever discipline or industry they elect to pursue.”