A new cogeneration plant is set to be the central feature of a $43m energy efficiency upgrade at a US Air Force base.

Energy services firm Noresco, which will be implementing the upgrade for Hanscom Air Force Base in the northern state of Massachusetts, says the upgrade will save the base over $94m over the life of the project.

The project is planned under a guaranteed energy savings performance contract (ESPC), which allows US federal agencies to procure energy savings and facility improvements with no up-front capital costs or special appropriations from Congress.

According to the plan, a 4.6 MW cogeneration plant will deliver power and steam for the base, and will operate on a microgrid to provide emergency power during grid outages. The plant will also power the central steam plant if grid power is unavailable, Noresco said.

Other planned features of the upgrade include extending natural gas service to some buildings and replacing oil-fired boilers and burners with gas-fired equipment.

Michael Beccaria, senior vice-president at Noresco, said the project would “augment energy resiliency and significantly reduce energy costs to support the critical mission at Hanscom AFB.”