By Earl Bittner, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast Public Affairs
KINGS BAY, Ga. (NNS) -- Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay Public Works Department (PWD) completed construction on a 30-kilowatt (kW) solar carport and celebrated the event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony April 3.
The NSB Kings Bay array provides accommodations for eight electric vehicle charging stations and cover for four more vehicles. The carport is comprised of eight single axis photo-voltaic arrays. The 150-foot-long panel structure of single axis arrays tilts automatically to track the sun's movement in one direction improving energy generation. The array includes several safety features to protect against high wind or lightning strikes.
"This investment provides the Navy a low cost energy solution for today's economic climate with monetary savings throughout the lifespan of the system," said NSB Kings Bay PWD construction manager Ensign Ryan Harbaugh.
Construction began on the $448,000 carport Dec. 17, 2013 and is the result of a larger project that was set to deliver three charging stations to the Navy's Southeast region.
The carport will enable NSB Kings Bay to recharge its current fleet of 63 electric vehicles with renewable electricity through either 110 or 220 volt outlets in approximately eight hours while reducing demand on the commercial power grid. The panels will generate excess electricity which is returned back to the electrical grid to help offset the energy consumed on the installation. The carport is expected to save about 50,000 kWh per year, or about $25,000 in annual utility costs.
A similar system was contructed and recently came online at Naval Air Station Whiting Field in Florida's panhandle that provides a total of ten electric vehicle charging stations and covered parking for 12 total vehicles. Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City received a smaller array capable of charging three vehicles and providing parking for three more.
"These projects will help the Navy comply with the mandates of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Energy Independence Security Act of 2007 and Presedential Executive Order 13423, which requires a 30-percent reduction in energy intensity by fiscal year 2015," said Brad Clark, Navy Region Southeast energy program manager. "They also support the secretary of the Navy's energy goals to further reduce the Navy's reliance on fossil fuels."