An arrangement was signed today between EDA, represented by Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý, and the EU’s Military Planning and Conduct Capability (MPCC), represented by Vice Admiral Hervé Bléjean, on the transfer of ownership of the Agency’s Smart Energy Camps Technical Demonstrator based at the EU Training Mission Mali (EUTM Mali) to the MPCC.
The Smart Energy Camps Technical Demonstrator (SECTD), previously developed as an EDA project, was deployed to EU Training Mission Mali (EUTM) at Camp Koulikoro between October 2015 and March 2016 to test the practical implementation of an intelligent power management system (energy demand management, renewable production and storage) in a challenging military environment. The demonstrator included fixed solar photovoltaic panels on a test building (16KWp), flexible soldier portable solar photovoltaic panels as well as monitoring and metering equipment for water and electricity. Over the six-month test period, the renewable energy systems were not only successfully integrated into the existing camp power architecture (requiring only minimal reconfigurations of the network) but it also led to substantial energy management improvements and cost savings.
Even though it was decided to keep the demonstrator at the camp after the test deployment and let it continue its services and renewable energy supplies to EUTM Mali, it was never the ambition of EDA to remain the owner and remote technical maintenance manager of the system in the long run. Hence the agreement now reached with the EU’s Military Planning and Conduct Capability, as the commander of EUTM Mali, to take over the full ownership rights of the demonstrator on behalf of ATHENA, the mechanism which handles the financing of common costs relating to EU military operations under the EU's common security and defence policy. This arrangement will allow for the demonstrator to continue its services to EUTM in the future under the best technical conditions.
EU Chief Executive Jiří Šedivý said: “The Smart Energy Camps Technical Demonstrator deployed at EU Training Mission Mali, at Camp Koulikoro, has successfully shown under operational and harsh conditions that smart energy management of military camps is not only technologically possible but also profitable. Its handover to the EU’s Military Planning and Conduct Capability, as the commander of EUTM, is a logical step as it offers the best guarantee for the good and smooth functioning of the system in the future”.
MPCC Director General Hervé Bléjean stated: “I would like to thank and acknowledge the European Defence Agency’s support to the EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy and its support to our EU Training Mission. The significant energy efficiency that this innovative project provides is tangible benefit to our mission in Mali. Its operational reliance enhances our capability to function in even the harshest of environments and reduces our environmental footprint. I have absolute faith in the ability of our personnel in Mali to ensure its continued operation and development.”
The Smart Energy Camps Technical Demonstrator project is only one of EDA’s activities aimed to help Member States make their Armed Forces more energy-efficient and environmentally sustainable. For example, EDA also manages the European Commission’s Consultation Forum for Sustainable Energy in the Defence and Security Sector (CF SEDSS) which assist EU Member States’ Ministries of Defence to move towards green, resilient, and efficient energy models. The Agency has also set up a dedicated ‘Energy and Environment Working Group’ which supports Member States in dealing with the many energy and environment-related aspects in defence. Furthermore, EDA will also be working closely with the Commission via a new “Incubation Forum” on circular economy in defence to generate cooperative project ideas for Member States, to help steer them toward a more circular defence.