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Naval Station Guantanamo Bay commissions new energy efficient power plant

11 September 2023

From Yan Kennon

Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly constructed power plant complex on September 7.

Naval Station (NS) Guantanamo Bay hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for its newly constructed power plant complex on September 7.

Those in attendance included the Honorable Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations and Environment Meredith Berger, representatives from Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) leadership and staff from the base.

The $368.8 million project, initially awarded by NAVFAC Southeast in July 2019, represents an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) that is strategically aligned with the Navy's Energy Security pillars: resiliency, reliability, and efficiency.

“Today we cut the ribbon on something that will make sure that when someone calls, we answer, a 20 Megawatt (MW) Liquefied Natural Gas Power Plant,” said Berger in her keynote speech. “This infrastructure inaugurates a first-of-its-kind agreement using significant savings of liquefied natural gas (LNG) over diesel. This cost-efficiency and energy efficiency will create about $10 million in annual fuel cost savings.”

To meet the facility’s requirements, an extensive research and analysis was conducted to find an effective solution that was both economical and secure. The decision, natural gas — which marked the first ever LNG procurement; and to date, the largest ESPC in Navy history.

Capt. Miguel Dieguez, commanding officer of NAVFAC Southeast, emphasized, "The design of this specific power plant is tailored to provide an efficient and reliable power supply with a reduced carbon footprint to support both mission-critical operations and everyday activities. Given its remote and isolated location at NS Guantanamo Bay, it was imperative that we select the right plan of action with the right industry partner in Siemens Government Technologies the first time around for this historic project."

The completed LNG power generation facility utilizes liquefied natural gas to operate a new dual-fuel combined cycle power plant serving the entire installation. The facility is projected to achieve annual energy savings of $24.6 million over a 22-year performance period, reduce annual fuel consumption by approximately 27.4 percent, and curtail CO2 emissions by more than 20,000 tons annually.

Berger stated, “The additional 12MW of new photovoltaic electricity to the existing renewable power, photovoltaic and wind, is enough to cover approximately 75 percent of summer peak demand, enabling periods where all consumption can be satisfied by renewable sources.”

In addition to the power generation facility, five additional projects encompassed by this ESPC have already been finalized. These projects include a 1.73-megawatt photovoltaic system facility, a 12-megawatt grid-connected photovoltaic system with energy storage, enhancements to interior and exterior lighting in 118 buildings, upgrades to water fixtures in 64 buildings, and improvements to water and wastewater systems in three different locations. A photovoltaic system is a special electrical system that produces energy from a renewable and inexhaustible sourcesuch as the sun.

“This plant is a great achievement for the naval station and the Navy,” said NS Guantanamo Bay Commanding Officer Capt. Samuel White. “NS Guantanamo Bay is self-sufficient when it comes to power production and this LNG plant is cost-effective for the Navy to power this installation for years to come.”

Overall, the ESPC will generate $834 million in total energy and water savings for both the Department of the Navy and the Department of Defense. This collective effort will enhance the installation's energy resilience and reliability, improving capabilities to support inter-agency and joint operations, providing mission assurance, and maintaining a constant state of readiness.

“There are two key items that enable projects like this to be successful: one, a common mission in support of national security; and two, our industry partnerships,” said NAVFAC Atlantic Commander Rear Adm. Lore Aguayo. “Partnerships like we have here are a model for what NAVFAC strives to achieve around the world as we build the infrastructure the Navy needs for strategic competition to outpace China and restrain Russia.”

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