By Don Rochon, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Two Navy energy programs and two specific energy projects were recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as winners of their 2014 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards, Naval Facilities Engineering Command announced Aug. 15.
The awards recognize individuals, groups and agencies for their outstanding contributions in the areas of energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of advanced and renewable energy technologies at federal facilities.
"We are extremely pleased and honored to be recognized by the Department of Energy for our energy accomplishments," said Rear Adm. Kate Gregory, commander, Naval Facilities Engineering Command. "Energy conservation is a high priority at all of our bases, and these programs reflect our ongoing commitment in meeting the secretary of the Navy's energy goals."
Energy programs at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana and Naval District Washington (NDW) were recognized as among the best of all federal agencies. Specifically, NAS Oceana's program was singled out for reducing overall energy consumption by implementing a variety of energy efficiency initiatives, including retro-commissioning heat pumps and installing energy efficient upgrades to base lighting.
In Fiscal Year (FY) 2013, NAS Oceana reduced energy intensity by approximately 52 percent below the FY 2003 baseline. Water intensity was reduced by 24 percent from the FY 2007 baseline.
To achieve these reductions, the NAS Oceana energy team primarily focused on implementing new technologies to improve existing systems and by increasing equipment performance to further reduce energy consumption.
Of special note was NAS Oceana's Distributed Energy Teams (DET) program. It's an innovative energy awareness strategy that is expected to encourage competitive energy conscious behaviors. The DETs are organized in ways that encourage a natural, friendly, competitive environment and each DET will have on its team a junior officer, as well as a Sailor from the commands senior enlisted leadership. The DETs consists of tenant commands, squadrons, departments, activities or even special events like 5k runs or base-wide picnics. The program seeks to infuse the energy awareness program with interesting, informative, and diversified activities to maintain program interest and command involvement and, at the same time, to be self-administered and self-sustaining.
The other Navy energy program singled out by the DOE was NDW for its reduction of a nearly 19 percent energy intensity reduction and 13 percent water intensity reduction. NDWs comprehensive energy program focuses on five energy pillars: energy security, energy information, energy efficiency, renewable energy/alternative fuels, and energy culture. NDW executed and evaluated a variety of promising initiatives in FY 2013 to reduce energy, water and fuel consumption.
These initiatives included: deployment of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) smart grid technologies to collectively and precisely monitor, predict, control and respond to building and utility management systems; standup of a mobile retro commissioning team and deployment of renewable energy teams throughout NDW to help activities reduce energy (which created 50 megawatts of potential renewable energy opportunities); standup of a transportation working group that focuses on fuel data collection, analysis and reduction; and the standup of a Shore Operations Center that conducts and coordinates system monitoring, staff administration, and dispatch.
"Deploying new energy technologies is only part of the answer," said Gregory. "Instituting programs that change our behavior and culture, like those at Naval Air Station Oceana and Naval District Washington, is another critical component in achieving our energy goals."
One of the specific energy projects recognized by the DOE was a 13.78 megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, California. It's the largest solar plant in the Navy, and by using high-efficiency solar panels, generates more than 30 percent of NAWS' annual energy load.
The plant is the first 20 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) awarded under federal legislation 10 USC 2922a. The third party developer is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of the system. Under the agreement, NAWS will purchase $80 to $100 million worth of energy at a negotiated price during the next 20 years. The project provides approximately $13 million in energy cost avoidance and requires no start-up costs from the Navy.
To make this project possible, an extraordinary level of effort went into market research, technical analysis, industry partnership, navigation of multifaceted regulations and incentives and preparation of complex acquisition documentation. During 18 months of discussions, the NAWS energy team successfully negotiated the terms and conditions that satisfied both government and private financing requirements for a PPA. Using the knowledge gained from the experience, the Navy will now be able to streamline the approval process and pave the way for new PPAs.
The other energy system recognized was the energy generation reconfiguration savings project at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti. Camp Lemonnier generates all of its own power from diesel generators. In FY 2013, the camp reconfigured energy production by removing its least efficient generators, connecting their two power plants, and when electrical loads permitted, by giving preferential operation to the most efficient power plant generators. In addition, air conditioning units were replaced with high efficiency units. These projects saved 61,000 British Thermal Units (MBTUs), a nine percent energy consumption reduction, with a cost avoidance of $2 million annually. Annual reduction of greenhouse gas emissions amounted to almost 4,760 metric tons of carbon dioxide.