U.S. NAVAL BASE GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba (NNS) -- As the world celebrates the 35th anniversary of Earth Day in 2005, the Department of the Navy (DON) debuted its largest wind energy project to date - four 275-foot wind turbines with blades spanning 177 feet during a ribbon-cutting ceremony here April 25.
The wind energy project will save taxpayers $1.2 million in annual energy costs, and it will reduce the consumption of 650,000 gallons of diesel fuel, reduce air pollution by 26 tons of sulfur dioxide and 15 tons of nitrous oxide and greenhouse gas emissions by 13 million pounds per year.
"Our renewable energy projects, like the Guantanamo Bay wind turbines, demonstrate the Navy and Marine Corps team's commitment to energy conservation," said William Tayler, director, DON Shore Energy Office.
Each of the four turbines will generate 950 kilowatts (kw) of electricity. Together, the four turbines will generate 3,800 kw, which is enough electricity to supply about 25 percent of the peak power needed to operate the base. In years of typical weather, the wind turbines will produce almost 8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity.
Construction of the wind energy project began in July 2004 and cost nearly $12 million. The project was made possible through a partnership between the Navy and NORESCO of Westborough, Mass., as part of an energy savings performance contract (ESPC). These energy contracts allow the Navy to achieve federal energy saving requirements by using public sector financing to improve energy efficiency and further the goals of the United States to be less dependent on foreign oil imports, to be good stewards of the environment and to be in the forefront of developing and using renewable energy technology.
"It is a great honor for NORESCO to be a partner with the Navy on the Guantanamo wind turbine project. While this is just one of many collaborations we've had with the Navy, this has been one of the most significant renewable energy initiatives that shows how partnerships can make a project of this scale possible," said Neil Petchers, vice president, NORESCO.
The Navy's worldwide energy program is managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. The program includes state-of-the-art technology and design, the most energy efficient products, and a focus on individual contributions toward improved conservation and operations and maintenance strategies that significantly reduce energy consumption by Navy and Marine Corps installations worldwide, saving taxpayers more than $500 million each year.
In 2004, the Navy became the first U.S. government agency honored with a Platts Global Energy Award for its extraordinary leadership and achievement in energy management.
For more information, visit the Department of the Navy's Energy Program at https://energy.navy.mil.
For related news, visit the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Navy NewsStand page at www.news.navy.mil/local/navfachq.