As one of the largest aircraft maintenance and repair complexes in the country, the Tinker Air Force Base employs over 8,600 military and civilian workers in a 65-acre main facility that is seven-tenths of a mile long. The sheer size and foot traffic of such a facility requires substantial resources for energy, but it also provides opportunities to create savings.
This was confirmed when the base announced a $19.1 million facility modernization project expected to reduce energy consumption by 44% and lower energy spend at the base’s assembly plant. This project – in addition to other retrofit projects and sustainability initiatives – is part of the Air Force’s plan to comply to the federally mandated goal to create a 25% reduction in energy consumption by 2025.
Funded through a Utility Energy Service contract, the base can pay for the upgrades with guaranteed future energy savings generated by the new systems that are installed. To date, the base has reduced energy use by roughly 30% and saved approximately $7 million in annual energy and operating costs.
“This project is another milestone in Tinker Air Force Base’s long-term commitment to reducing energy consumption and boosting our sustainability efforts that will benefit the base and the surrounding communities,” says Brig. Gen. Mark K. Johnson, Commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex. “We want to be leaders in sustainability efforts not only within the Air Force, but also among all federal agencies.”
The focus of the project is on the central utility plant that serves the base’s 2.9 million-square-foot assembly plant, which includes:
- Replacing the steam and heating hot water system with modern boilers
- Updating the chilled water and thermal energy storage system
- Retrofitting lighting fixtures with more energy-efficient systems
- Modernizing the HVAC system
- Optimizing the compressed air system
- Implementing various water conservation measures
In addition to energy savings, the improvements will reduce Tinker Air Force Base’s carbon footprint by 178,627 metric tons over the life of the contract, which is equal to removing more than 19,000 cars from the road.