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Utilities Privatization System Owners Launch New Group

Partnering to Create Utility Reliability, Resilience and Safety on Military Installations

Washington, D.C., (May 2, 2019) In 1997, Congress authorized the Department of Defense’s (DoD) military installations to privatize their utility (water, wastewater and electricity) systems. The utilities privatization (UP) program allows DoD to call on the private sector’s vast expertise, experience and cutting-edge technology to ensure that these systems remain reliable, safe and efficient. This partnership with the private sector also allows DoD to assign more personnel to direct pursuit of its national security mission.

Now that DoD’s utilities privatization program has achieved more than 20 years of robust performance, UP system owners from across the services have joined together to form a new organization, Utility Privatization Partners (UPP). This new group will serve as a united voice for the companies and organizations that participate in the program.

UPP currently consists of 12 founding organizations that collectively represent more than 100 utilities privatization projects in all three services. Through a unique partnership with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, UPP members also include 24 electric cooperatives that support DoD.

UPP marked its official launch with a meeting Tuesday, April 23, in Washington, D.C., which brought together top military leaders, including Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Energy, Lisa Jung, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Energy and Sustainability), Jack Surash and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure, Mark Correll.  During this meeting, UPP shared its focus on current issues, ranging from performance metrics and enhancing resilience, to improving existing capacity to thwart cyber-attacks.

UPP’s goal is to advance the results and benefits of UP through education, information and engagement. With members ranging from large water, gas and electric utility providers to small, local electric cooperatives, UPP will bring together a diverse group of partners to advocate for the evolution and expansion of this successful partnership with military installations. UPP’s specific emphasis will be on developing ways to increase system reliability and resilience.

UPP expects to expand its membership in the coming months, but will remain an organization composed only of system owners. The organization is being managed by Leonard Resource Group, a D.C.-based association management firm that also operates the Association of Defense Communities.

In conjunction with its April 23 launch, UPP introduced its website, which contains news and information from around the country regarding the program. Next month, it will launch a monthly newsletter that will feature case studies from a diverse set of UP projects. The group will also host a series of meetings to be held in conjunction with industry events that are scheduled for the remainder of 2019.