By Capt. Pat Rios
Director, CNIC Facilities and Environmental
Throughout the Navy Shore enterprise, we’re engaging in renewable initiatives. These range from a public-private geothermal power plant that provides enough power for 180,000 homes in California, to replacing nearly 2,000 street and parking lights with Solar LED lights on Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. This provides an annual energy savings that equals the cost of 300 flight hours for an F/A-18.
Capt. David Owen, left, commanding officer of Fleet Activities Yokosuka, inspects recently installed solar panels at Sullivan Elementary School, Aug. 22, 2012. The solar panels are a building integrated photovoltaic system, which is estimated to contribute $297,000 in projected annual energy savings at the installation. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Matthew R. Cole/Released)
In Hawaii, where energy expenses have been historically high, Naval Facility Engineering Command, in partnership with Navy Region Hawaii, is pursuing a power purchase agreement, giving us the ability to purchase up to 56MW of photovoltaic power on the island of Oahu. These are just first steps, as we continue to look for places where we can invest in renewable energy ashore where it makes financial and operational sense.
Energy is a strategic imperative. By making investments in our people, buildings and utility systems, we will become more energy efficient, thereby reducing operating costs and diverting the savings to other Navy priorities like fleet operations and training. The savings is significant – and it is savings that will go toward more fuel for our ships and aircraft, better training, and newer, better equipment. You, the Sailor, the civilian, the Navy family member, even the contractor – can help us conserve and invest in tomorrow, today.