KINGS BAY, Ga (NNS) -- It may be chilly in the South during winter, but it is not very often that temperatures drop below freezing.
Early last week, icicles could be seen dangling like daggers along gutters and water spouts, or formed along the grass where the dew froze in the early morning. All 50 states were affected by the polar vortex which swept down across the nation Jan. 6 and 7.
While no damage from the freezing temperatures was reported, the record-setting low temperatures had families cranking up the heat to stay warm during the passing of the cold front.
Due to the high-energy expenditure, Georgia Power and Naval Submarine Base (NSB) Kings Bay teamed up for the benefit of both the area and on-base residents.
They did that by partnering in an agreement called Interruptible Service, in which Kings Bay uses its own power to spare more electricity to the power company when it's needed.
Although Kings Bay has generators that can supply the base with power, it is more economical to run the base on commercial power. That is, unless special circumstances draw more power outside the base, driving up the demand for power.
"Interruptible Service is a contract between Kings Bay and Georgia Power, in which Georgia Power has the ability to request Kings bay to reduce our electrical demand from Georgia Power to zero," Kevin Tucker, the electrical commodity manager for Kings Bay, said. "This contract has been in effect since the early '90s. Kings Bay Utilities also has the ability with a separate agreement with Georgia Power to see the real time cost of electricity. We use this to our advantage by setting a limit in which it is more cost effective to run our generators than to purchase power from the utility company. The price had risen so high during the cold spell we were alleviating the strain on the total grid as well as saving the tax payer dollars."
Tucker said in order to meet the base's consumption needs, Kings Bay has 12 diesel generators providing the ability to generate up to 34.5 megawatts of electricity. Over the span of the cold snap, the base generated electricity for a total of 12.5 hours.
Taking into account the maintenance and fuel cost of running Kings Bay's generators, the base saved approximately $55,000 over that 12.5 hour time, Tucker said.
After that half-day time span, the base returned to Georgia Power, which had gone back down to 30 to 33 cents less per kilowatt hour, than power generated by NSB generators, Tucker said.
For more news from Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga., visit www.navy.mil/local/subasekb/.