SEAL BEACH, Calif. -- As the Navy recognizes National Energy Awareness Month during October, Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Seal Beach, Calif., is pushing forward with energy conservation goals that meet or exceed those outlined in Executive Order 13423 and by the Department of Defense and Secretary of the Navy.
"Our biggest goal here is to make our facilities and utility systems more sustainable to decrease the overall lifecycle cost of the products and services we deliver," said NWS Seal Beach Deputy Public Works Officer Donald Crabb, who oversees facilities sustainment, repair, and modernization at the base.
"Currently we are achieving that goal, which is also the goal provided by the executive orders and the D.O.D overall. The executive order goal was rather ambitious, it was for a 30 percent reduction in energy use by 2015 and currently we are on track to achieve that goal and surpass it."
According to NWS Seal Beach Public Works Officer Lt. Cmdr. Chad Lorenzana, the move toward a more energy efficient Seal Beach began in 2008, when the base installed its first photovoltaic array atop the base gym. Since then, the base has installed three more arrays and has seen a $200,000 to $300,000 reduction in energy costs attributable to the use of renewable energy sources, more efficient designs, and better energy practices.
Lorenzana said that by the time all the base's energy goals are met, savings should approach $1 million a year.
"Energy conservation allows our facilities to operate more efficiently and become more sustainable which saves money for operations and gives money back to the Navy to meet mission objectives," said Lorenzana.
While solar power is a very visible and important part of the base's energy conservation strategy, producing clean, renewable energy from the California sun, many less obvious aspects of Seal Beach's energy program are making just as much of an impact in the base's progress.
"Some things aren't as sexy as photovoltaic, some are just as simple as putting more efficient light bulbs in our facilities," said Crabb.
Crabb said that one of the other major focus areas has been on making the base's boiler systems and compressors more energy friendly. His office is also overseeing the installation of smart meters that will allow closer monitoring of electricity use on base and in various facilities so that additional opportunities can be found to reduce energy consumption
Energy conservation training being given to Sailors and DoD employees is also helping to reduce wasteful energy practices.
Lorenzana said such improvements have been made possible through various funding streams, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and by a command that makes responsible energy usage a top priority.
"Like with other programs, the important thing is that you have the support of from the top down," said Lorenzana. "Here at NWS Seal Beach the leadership supports energy conservation and renewable energy and that's made a big impact on how I set my goals as a public works officer on how I move forward with construction projects and facilities planning."
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