How the Navy Meets Its Energy Goals

May 20, 2014

Field-tested technologies help reduce dependence on foreign oil.

The Navy's ambitious dual energy goals – 50% of shore-based energy from alternative sources and net-zero energy status for 50% of Navy and Marine Corps installations – require a strategy as powerful as the institution itself.

Partnering with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the Navy piloted energy efficiency demonstration projects at eight installations in Hawaii and Guam. The resulting success has encouraged the Navy to implement several of the technologies more broadly, according to Steve Gorin, director of NREL's Department of Defense Energy Program. Two strategies in particular offered noteworthy savings:

  • Advanced power strips, which cut power to devices when they're not in use, were installed in an office building supporting roughly 100 people. Eliminating unnecessary nighttime and weekend plug loads reduced overall plug load use by 28% and lowered the entire building's energy consumption by 8%. This will save the Navy 15 MWh annually and carries a payback of less than two years.
  • Comprehensive energy efficiency retrofits in demonstration homes, which included such technologies as more efficient hot water heaters and air conditioners, programmable thermostats, and low-flow showerheads, saved roughly 4,000 kWh in air conditioning and 1,400 kWh in water heating per home. These measures are expected to pay for themselves in just under three years.

The project also addressed other efficiency measures, as well as renewable energy generation and energy systems integration.

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