By Catherine Cruz Norton, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas Public Affairs
APRA HARBOR, Guam (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Marianas' energy team and mascot 'Brite' welcomed a historic port visit, Feb. 14, by the Great Green Fleet and reiterated its renewable-energy commitment on Guam.
The John C. Stennis Strike Group is part of the yearlong initiative highlighting the Navy's efforts to transform its energy use to increase operational capability.
"The arrival of the Great Green Fleet to Naval Base Guam (NBG) is a significant milestone," said NAVFAC Marianas and Joint Region Marianas Assistant Regional Engineer (ARE) Cmdr. Joe Yates. "This was an excellent opportunity to highlight the numerous shore-based renewable energy initiatives that are active throughout the region."
NAVFAC Marianas Energy Manager Desiree Masterson said the installations contribute to supporting energy security through the use of renewable energy and sustainable practices.
"Sustainable energy efforts protect mission capabilities," she said. "Investment in environmentally responsible technologies afloat and ashore reduces greenhouse gas emissions and lessens dependency on fossil fuels."
Current initiatives on NBG include photovoltaic (PV) arrays and solar thermal domestic water heating systems. There are 636 solar-powered street lights, seven facilities with rooftop-mounted PV systems, and a 250 kilowatt solar array, all actively contributing to energy efficiency.
"These renewables contribute to stabilizing energy security during a grid failure," Masterson added.
According to NBG Energy Manager Karl Dreikron, the future is bright for renewable energy projects on the installation.
"Proposed projects consist of a 1.6 megawatt solar array directly supporting the waste water treatment plant, an 850 kilowatt expansion to the existing solar array field, and a 7 megawatt solar array in direct support of the installation's power grid," Dreikron said.
Energy is critical to the Department of the Navy (DoN) and its ability to provide the global presence necessary to ensure stability, deter potential adversaries, and present options in times of crisis, wherever and whenever they might arise.
The Stennis Strike Group is on a regularly scheduled deployment to the 7th Fleet area of operations. All ships are using energy efficiency measures, to include technologies and operational procedures, in the course of their normal operations. The ships are also powered by alternative fuels, with the guided-missile destroyers and cruisers as the first to use a blend of advanced biofuel and marine diesel throughout an operational deployment.
In 2009, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued the following five goals aimed at transforming the DoN's energy use: Increase Alternative Energy Use DoN-Wide: by 2020, 50 percent of total energy consumption will come from alternative sources; Increase Alternative Energy Ashore: by 2020, DoN will produce at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources; 50 percent of Navy and Marine Corps installations will be net-zero; Sail the "Great Green Fleet": DoN will demonstrate a Green Strike Group in local operations by 2012 and sail it by 2016; Reduce Non-Tactical Petroleum Use: By 2015, DoN will reduce petroleum use in the commercial fleet by 50 percent; Energy Efficient Acquisition: Evaluation of energy factors will be mandatory when awarding Department of the Navy contracts for systems and buildings.