San Diego Base Acts as Global Force For Green
Jul 26, 2010 -Defennse Departnent Document - Energy Central
With recent environmental initiatives designed to meet and exceed Navy sustainability goals, Naval Base San Diego is proving to be a "Global Force for Green."
"We are thinking green to get green," said Capt. Rick Williamson, commanding officer of the base. "We are reinvesting cost savings, mitigating energy usage and we are leading by example. We want to save money in order to increase our war fighting capabilities."
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently said that the Navy will produce at least half of shore-based energy requirements on installations from alternative sources by the year 2020. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) will fund many of these projects.
The base has completed several projects under the act, including three rooftop photovoltaic systems and a photovoltaic carport. In total, these systems are expected to generate approximately 570 milliwatts and save the Navy $82,000 annually.
Additionally, ARRA dollars funded the replacement of 1,182 street and parking lot light fixtures with light emitting diode (LED) technology. The existing 400-watt fixtures were replaced with 110-watt LED fixtures. This project alone reduced electrical consumption by 945.4 milliwatts and saved $120,000 annually.
Communication of this initiative with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDGE) resulted in a collaborative partnership for future LED lighting throughout the base.
The base has a history of sustainable actions. In May 2007, the base developed a smart landscape master plan to reduce watering requirements. Artificial turf, xeriscape and central computerized weather-based master irrigation control system projects were launched, which to date have saved more than 60 million gallons of water and will continue to save an estimated 20.7 million gallons annually.
Further water conservation measures include replacing 190 urinals with one-pint flushing types and installing 100 waterless urinals, which are estimated to save approximately 3.8 million gallons of water each year.
The base also has one of the largest recycling centers in Navy Region Southwest. The recycling center saves approximately 15 tons of solid waste daily, cutting removal fees by more than $500.
"Through our aggressive recycling program, the base has diverted 43,000 tons of waste, which is equivalent to the weight of 10 of the Navy's frigates," said Dennis Brazell, base resource efficiency manager.
Another program assisting in waste diversion is the base's Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) which provides processes for turning in computers, monitors and other electronics. On Earth Day 2010, Naval Base San Diego, in cooperation with metro-San Diego commands, received and processed more than 42 tons of electronics and 12 tons of appliances with a resale value of more than $1 million.
Reducing consumption through education, initiatives and innovation is a priority for the base. As part of the base energy awareness program, an internal energy and water conservation Web site has been created to provide access to facility utility consumption, instructions, and policies, energy awareness and building monitor information.
To manage energy conservation, the base has started a process to enable standby mode for computer work stations. By developing the software to make these changes, each station will go into standby mode when the computer is left unattended after a set time and at the end of the day if the computer has not been shut down. The estimated saving is more than $400,000 each year.
Williamson has also encouraged Sailors to use van pools, car pools, bus routes and trolleys. He has also partnered with San Diego Associations of Government and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System to start an express bus from the Murphy Canyon Housing to Naval Base San Diego.
"Our renewable energy and water conservation challenge does not end here," said Williamson. "We will continue to make improvements. There are always better ways to do business and I am not only looking to senior leadership for ideas, but I am looking to every Sailor. In fact, one of our Sailors brought up the idea to recycle food waste and we are going to explore that possibility."