Tuesday, October 8, 2013

DOD Energy Follies Part 2: Middies, Zoomies, and Toilets in the Desert

Inside the Middie Dome
OK, I don't want to spend much more time on follies. Would much rather accentuate the positive. But based on feedback to the previous follies post, looks like one more is in order.

The most glaring contribution this week, pun intended, came from the Navy again, which for some reason decided to keep its stadium lights all the way on for Saturday's game vs USAFA. In the face of sequestration and the teeth of the partial government shutdown, the Air Force barely had the funds to get its folks to Annapolis.  The Navy, it seems, had money (and watts) to burn.


Another contributor wanted to point out the lengths to which the Army will go to turn bases into Net Zero installations. This recent citation comes from the US Army Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment AKO webpage:
Vicenza, Italy substituted 247 light poles supporting 494 old style metal halide lamp fixtures with 357 LED light fixtures, ranging from 24 to 48 watts. The project is being completed at a cost of $843,000.
The contributor did some math and calculated an ROI of 28.1 years. I'm not sure what the right target ROI is to greenlight a project, but we all know shorter is better, and that to me 28 years sounds a little long. But if you follow the link you'll find other cost savings and benefits that make the project seem less follie-like.

Ok, time to get the Marines involved, and in order to do so, we're going to have to talk about water more than energy, though you're free to infer the energy ramifications of this. This contributor chimed in thusly:
I attended EXFOB 2011 at 29 Palms on behalf of the UK MoD to see how the USMC were going about their reduction of fossil fuel consumption. 29 Palms is over 900 square miles, with no natural water present anywhere. Pretty much every Marine passes through there prior to deployment. It is a busy place. I clearly remember standing at one of the American Standard urinals which was labelled as a gallon per flush. [Imagine] the cost and effort to pump, clean, store and dispose of that much water (when waterless urinals are available) in a vast and arid desert. It just struck me as an indicator that the bigger picture was not being seen.
Definitely sounds like an opportunity to me, and I bet the ROI math would work out even better than the Vicenza example.

Sorry I don't have anything ready with which to skewer the Air Force. You might think that's because I'm a former Zoomie, but I assure you I wouldn't hesitate to call out energy missteps or misdeeds. OK, well, do a little research and you may find some items of interest pertaining to the 6 Megawatt solar installation at the Blue Zoo.  That's all I'm going to say.

Lastly, we have my friend in Paris, Dr. Sohbet Karbuz.  A former International Energy Agency (IEA) analyst, Dr. K knows more than anyone about what DOD's done right (and for the purposes of this post, done wrong) in the fields of energy modernization, diversification, efficiency and security. You can follow his work on his blog, HERE.


1 comment:

Charles Kirkland said...

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