Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Schriever Sentinel

50 SW intensifies green efforts

By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes

50th Space Wing Public Affairs

The 50th Space Wing intensified its commitment to energy and water conservation as it invested $6.7 million in projects for the past two fiscal years with an annual savings projected at $1.5 million. In fiscal 2011, the installation reduced facility energy use by 26 percent from 2003 and is projected to increase to 31 percent for 2012. The base’s facility water use dropped by 11 percent from 2007 and is expected to dip to 40 percent in 2012. (U.S. Air Force photo)

As part of the Energy Policy Act of 1992 and 2005, Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 and Executive Order 13514, the base is required to reduce energy demand by 30 percent by 2012 from the baseline year of 2003, while potable water usage must be reduced by 16 percent by 2012 from the baseline year of 2007.

“Schriever is committed to ensuring it meets or exceeds its energy and water reduction goals,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Williams, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron commander. “In fiscal 2011, the installation reduced facility energy use by 26 percent from 2003 and is projected to increase to 31 percent for 2012. The base’s facility water use dropped by 11 percent from 2007 and is expected to dip to 40 percent in 2012. This shows we are on track to reducing our energy demands.”

In an effort to reduce energy and water use, the installation uses facility energy audits, utility meters, building re-commissioning and a variety of tools.

“To meet these mandates, conservation of energy must be of paramount concern in all aspects of each work center on Schriever,” said Eric Reeves, 50 CES resource efficiency manager. “As a benefit, cost savings will be realized in our day-to-day operations and will ultimately support the operational mission of the Air Force.”

Air Force bases are required to perform energy audits on their covered facilities once every four years. The 50 SW, including geographically separated units, such as New Boston Air Force Station, N.H., and Kaena Point, Hawaii, has completed 43 audits, exceeding its 23 requirements.

“The objectives for audits are to improve [heating, ventilation and air conditioning] system infrastructure, increase occupant comfort and reduce energy consumption,” Reeves said. “The last objective has become an increasingly important goal as regulations have created mandated energy reduction goals for all federal facilities.”

Each of these objectives is addressed by the formulation of energy conservation opportunities. Based on the analysis of the existing building systems, operations and occupancy pattern in the buildings, ECOs are identified and, if determined to increase efficiencies with good return on investment, programmed for execution.

Schriever has also exceeded its metering requirements by installing meters at various locations. These meters allow the base to analyze utility usage and track reductions as a result of the base’s energy initiatives.

“A vital component of the Air Force’s energy program is measuring usage by installing meters for electricity, natural gas, steam and water where appropriate, thus allowing for informed decisions and improved energy efficiency,” Reeves said.

Some of the base’s energy initiatives include HVAC upgrades to higher efficiency units; tower free cooling that captures cooler winter temperatures to extract the heat from a chill water system and eliminating the need for chiller operations during winter months; and low-flow restroom fixtures in Buildings 400 and 720 to reduce water consumption.

Additionally, the base implemented a command strategic sourcing for light-emitting diode light replacement of all street and parking lot lighting, reducing electrical load. It also replaced existing inefficient boilers in multiple facilities with high-efficiency units. Mission centers were evaluated to allow implementation of state-of-the-art cooling distribution. In addition, a ground source heat pump is scheduled to be installed for Building 20 in the future.

“We are proud of our energy successes, but there is still more we can do to ensure we reach our goals,” Williams said. “Each one of us must do our part in conserving energy and water resources. It is the right thing to do as members and stewards of this base.”

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