By Sue Brink, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast Southeast Public Affairs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southeast, in partnership with Gulf Power and Siemens, recently completed a $9.8 million Utility Energy Savings Contract (UESC) at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whiting Field in Milton, Florida.
The 13-month project focused on the installation of energy and water conservation upgrades in 58 facilities across the installation.
"I'm proud of the innovation and vision of the NAS Whiting Field and NAVFAC teams on this project," said NAS Whiting Field Commanding Officer Capt. Todd Bahlau. "Their efforts will reduce our base energy footprint for decades to come, directly in line with the Navy's goals for energy conservation, independence and resilience."
One of the highlights of the project was the creation of a new 'virtual' chiller plant. The virtual chiller plant cross-connects the existing chillers in three adjacent facilities that house the installation's advanced aviation simulators. The design consolidates multiple HVAC components, adding system redundancy while increasing energy efficiency. Excess heat is transported to a heat rejection chiller that recovers the energy and uses it to supplement the buildings' heating and de-humidification systems.
"The virtual chiller plant is one of the more ingenious energy conservation measures developed during this project," said NAS Whiting Field Installation Energy Manager Jason Poe. "It will reduce the energy use of the combined plants by 34 percent, or $66,000 per year."
The UESC project scope included more than 10,000 LED light fixtures, high efficiency HVAC equipment upgrades, low flow water fixtures, transformer replacements and significant modernizations to the building control systems in multiple facilities. The project also aligned with the Navy's new cybersecurity and energy resilience requirements.
"We've already observed an 18 percent reduction in energy intensity, which is within arm's length of the 25 percent reduction by 2025 mandated by Executive Order 13693," said Poe. "The project savings will exceed $443,000 in annual energy costs and $185,000 in operational cost avoidance."
"The substantial construction activities of this project were completed well ahead of the contract completion date of Dec. 26, 2017," said NAS Whiting FEAD Director Lt. Chris Thomas. "The project team worked really hard to ensure the project got done with minimal disruptions and impacts to the facility occupants."
A UESC is an innovative limited-source contract between a federal agency and its serving utility for demand reduction services and efficiency improvements. The initial project costs are financed through a third party and repaid with future utility savings.
The project development began with a series of energy audits conducted in 2014 and 2015. The resulting Energy Conservation Measures (ECM's) for each building were further refined and crafted into a single project to leverage greater economies of scale and maximize the overall Return on Investment (ROI). The NAS Whiting Field Public Works Department awarded the project Sept. 6, 2016.
The project falls under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which authorizes federal agencies to use appropriations, private financing, or a combination of both, to comply with energy savings mandates.