WASHINGTON — Defense Department efforts to save energy and help the environment at installations around the world are receiving notice from the White House and the Energy Department.
Last week a team at Fort Belvoir, Va., received one of eight 2010 GreenGov Presidential Awards, sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, for exceptional efforts to promote operations that sustain the environment and save energy.
Under the Army’s Residential Communities Initiative, the Army and Fort Belvoir Residential Communities LLC formed a 50-year public-private partnership to develop, rehabilitate and build more than 2,000 homes on 576 acres at Fort Belvoir.
The project’s Building the Future Award cites a mixed-use town center that has solar panels, a salvaged playground, and a storm-water management system that captures and treats 90 percent of annual runoff from rainfall. The project’s design also integrates residential and retail space, and encourages walking as an alternative to driving.
On Oct. 7, the Energy Department awarded several of its 2010 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards to Defense Department operations. More than 30 individuals, teams and organizations received the awards for outstanding efforts to implement sustainable strategies that improve energy, water and vehicle fleet efficiency.
Among the winners were employees from the Defense Department and the U.S. Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy. Awards to organizations for fiscal year 2009 activities included: — Minot Air Force Base, N.D., which replaced an aging water-heating plant with 400 tons of ground-source heat pumps for some large facilities and facility-specific, high-efficiency boilers for others, saving 114 billion British thermal units of energy and 16 million gallons of water over three years. It also saved $2.6 million in energy and water costs, and more than $48,000 annually in maintenance and repair costs.
— U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, Calif., which in partnership with Southern California Edison, installed the Marine Corps’ first large-scale wind turbine. The 1.5 megawatt turbine generates more than 3,600 megawatt-hours of electric energy, representing 11.6 percent of base electricity consumption.
— Commander Fleet Activities, Yokosuka, Japan, installed a $112 million, 39-megawatt cogeneration power plant that supplies power equal to the load of 26,000 homes and avoids 62,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. These and other projects saved 587 billion Btu, 745,000 gallons of water, and $16.8 million in energy costs.
Maureen Sullivan, the Defense Department’s director of environmental management, released a statement saying the awards highlight the department’s commitment to the environment. “Environmental and energy initiatives are a priority and we continue to invest in innovative technologies which demonstrate our commitment to supporting efficiency measures that save money for taxpayers, increase the sustainability of our military mission, and create a stronger economy for the American people,” she said.
For programs that implemented efficient energy, water or fleet management in fiscal 2009, awardees included the following:
— The U.S. Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas implemented projects that included energy-efficient lighting and equipment and water-efficient plumbing fixtures. The efforts saved more than 70 billion Btu of electricity and 24,000 gallons of water, equaling $2.7 million in costs.
— The Defense Commissary Agency at Fort Lee, Va., developed a centralized environmental management system in 2003 to improve its facilities worldwide. The agency saved 90 billion Btu and 43 million gallons of water, avoiding $2.7 million in utility costs and more than 18,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
— The Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command/Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif., invested $16.1 million in solar applications and energy-efficiency improvements. The efforts saved 12.8 billion Btu in and reduced energy intensity by more than 15 percent from fiscal 2003.
— Naval Base San Diego, home port for 56 ships and utilizing 467 buildings, developed a base energy and water reduction plan. Innovative technologies include LED street lighting, smart landscaping, state-of-the-art central irrigation controls and oil-free chiller plant compressors. The base saved more than 15 billion Btu and 57 million gallons of water for a combined savings of $1.5 million in costs.
— The Navy Region Southwest in San Diego has an energy and water efficiency program that covers 10 installations. In 2009 the organization reduced energy consumption by more than 223 billion Btu and 662 million gallons of water, decreasing its energy intensity by 17.7 percent from 2003 and water intensity by 27 percent from 2007.
How the department manages energy has significant impacts on tactical, strategic and operational decision-making efforts. This week, as part of Energy Awareness month, the Pentagon will host its first energy security event with top-level panel discussions and energy technology displays.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will open a morning panel discussion, one of two discussions to be held tomorrow. Sharon Burke, the department’s director of operational energy, will lead the morning panel, which will include Chopra and top Army and Air Force leadership.
Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations and Environment Dorothy Robyn will lead a second panel tomorrow.
Energy technology contractors and equipment will be on display in the Pentagon’s courtyard throughout the week.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)