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Navy Installs Large-Scale Solar Project on Oahu Base Facilities

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS111013-05

By Thomas Obungen, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Hawaii Public Affairs

PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Several facilities across Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) received solar hot water systems between mid-May and early October, with the last two receiving final inspection Oct. 3, as part of a large energy project that will eventually save the Navy approximately $200,000 annually.

"The installation of these solar systems was made possible by the Department of Defense's (DoD) Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP) which allocates funds for projects based on whether they meet certain federal mandates to reduce energy consumption," said Krista Stehn, Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Hawaii, energy manager for Navy Region Hawaii. "Just like in Navy housing, it makes sense to use green technology and our sun to heat water for personal use, taking a shower and washing clothes, in bachelor apartment-style housing and workout facilities."

In June 2010, NAVFAC Hawaii awarded a $2.2 million contract to Su-mo/Nan Inc. through the ECIP to install solar hot water systems on six facilities across JBPHH at Pearl Harbor and Wahiawa Annex. Five of the buildings are on-base bachelor enlisted or officer quarters and the sixth is a gymnasium.

The contractor installed 6,120 square feet of panels capable of heating 14,000 gallons of water daily, making this the largest solar hot water project executed at JBPHH for the Navy. Work began May 12 with site preparations. Su-mo/Nan Inc. continued work throughout the summer and completed final inspections on the last two buildings Oct. 3.

In addition to the solar hot water systems, the contract also included a 100-kilowatt thin film photovoltaic (PV) system for Bldg. 1770, one of the largest energy consuming buildings at JBPHH. The contractor is installing the thin film this month and when turned on, will reduce the building's demand on the base's power grid by over 150,000 kilowatt-hour per year.

Each dollar spent provides for the replacement of traditional energy resources with renewable energy, while simultaneously reducing operating expenses in the future and over the course of 11 years, the DoD will recover the project's costs when it saves approximately $200,000 a year in energy costs.

Su-mo/Nan Inc. expects the project to be completed in December 2011 with the systems up and running by start of the new year.

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus laid out five aggressive energy goals in October 2009 to improve energy security and efficiency, increase energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy. This initiative assists in achieving the energy goal of increasing alternative energy afloat and ashore where by 2020, the Department of the Navy (DON) will produce at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources and 50 percent of DON installations will be net-zero.

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