Science and Technology News

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Great Lakes Awards First Phase of Steam Plant Energy Efficiency Project

By Bill Couch, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Midwest Public Affairs

GREAT LAKES, Ill. (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Midwest hosted a contract signing ceremony at Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL) June 19, kicking off the first phase of a $57-million, multi-year project to decentralize the Naval Station Great Lakes steam heat delivery system.

Over approximately the next three years, Newburgh, Ind.-based Kroeschell ESG, L.L.C. joint venture will disconnect 110 of the base's buildings from the central steam plant and instead install individual heating systems in each building.

This will improve the base's overall energy efficiency and save the Navy money.

"We're looking forward to working with our contract partners on this very important project over the next few years," said NAVFAC Midwest Commanding Officer Capt. Scott Bernotas. "This is one of the most significant projects we've undertaken within the region. Not only is it large in scope, but also in future benefit. Decentralizing Great Lakes' steam distribution is really about preparing the base and Navy Region Midwest for a future where resources are more scarce."

New infrastructure, including new gas lines and other supporting systems, will be installed around the base. The existing aging steam lines will be removed in a follow-on phase of the project, to be completed in 2017.

While building occupants may not notice a difference in their work areas (Navywide directives set heating points at 68 degrees and cooling points at 78 degrees), each building will be heated more efficiently, saving the Navy money, according to Public Works Department Great Lakes Energy Manager Peter Behrens.

"Having heating systems for each building will eliminate the energy loss inherent in having what is essentially a 20-mile long radiator carrying steam around the base," said Behrens.

NAVFAC anticipates this project will save the base around $9 million per year and reduce the base's overall energy intensity - the amount of energy used per square foot of occupied space - by 21 percent.

Local projects like this will help the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Ray Mabus' energy goals to improve energy security and efficiency afloat and ashore, increase the military's energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean-energy economy. They will also help NSGL achieve energy efficiency goals required by presidential executive orders, the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. These require federal agencies to, among other things, reduce energy intensity by three percent annually and reduce water consumption by two percent annually.

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