US Navy Goes Green

According to US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, “Having energy independence in the United States is one of the most important things we can do from a security standpoint.”

In the first of the Maritime Security Review and DefenceIQ’s series of joint articles, MSR’s Editor-in-Chief Mark Lowe has written an overview of the US Navy’s efforts to use renewable energy sources. The initiative is part of a bigger plan to reduce US dependence on foreign fuels.

US Navy Powers Towards Energy Independence

Guantanamo Bay is synonymous with many things, but clean energy does not generally figure amongst them. Nevertheless, the United States Navy is doing its best to ensure that electricity generated on the naval base is as green as possible.

Because the United States and Cuba do not maintain diplomatic relations, Guantanamo Bay must produce its own water and electricity. The technology used to supply these basic requirements to the base’s approximately 5,700 residents has not changed in decades. In particular, the diesel generators have far exceeded their life expectancy. According to Art Torley, the Director of the Public Works’ Production Division, “….the base has been using generators as old as 1957.

In an effort to save fuel and further the Navy’s clean energy targets, the older, less fuel-efficient generators are being shut down and removed. The modern 3.5-megawatt electro-motive division (EMD) generators that are replacing them are expected to save the Navy approximately $2 million per year in diesel fuel costs.

Within only 48 hours after installing and turning on the first two EMD generators, the Public Works Department recorded a five percent decrease in fuel consumption. These results sit well with other initiatives such as the four wind turbines installed at the base in 2005.

Throughout the Navy and Marine Corps, a number of initiatives are being implemented….[Click here to continue reading]

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