Wind turbines may power Guam green energy effort
Stars and Stripes August 19, 2009
TOKYO — Guam could be home to four U.S. Navy windmills under a proposal by naval engineers on the island.
The $16 million proposal includes installing four turbines on Naval Magazine, a military base in the middle of the southern portion of the island.
They would generate an estimated 4 megawatts to help offset power use by other Navy facilities on Guam, according to Kevin Evans, the energy manager for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Marianas.
The effort would make a tiny dent in the Department of Defense’s electricity use on the island, which needed an average of about 41.5 megawatts of continuous power to keep the military running in June, including the Navy-run hospital and Andersen Air Force Base, according to Navy officials.
But it’s one of several options the Navy is looking at as it tries to add renewable energy to its arsenal in coming years.
"We’re a long ways before we get there," Evans said last week during a phone interview. "But every little bit helps. We’re pursing all kinds of renewable energy."
Money for the project has been applied for through the Department of Defense’s Energy Conservation Investment Program, meant to invest in energy savings at military bases. Evans said he expects to hear back within a few months about the windmill proposal.
Meanwhile, the Navy on Guam is laying solar-power membranes atop buildings and using solar-powered lights to brighten playgrounds, Evans said. Earlier this year, the Navy installed solar water heating at two locations, including at some barracks.
The engineers have plans to use rainwater to clean out kennels at a new military dog facility. And they are in the beginning stages of studying the feasibility of using geothermal power, he said.
Guam officials, too, are looking for ways to incorporate green energy into their grids, according to Simon Sanchez II, who chairs the island’s Consolidated Commission on Utilities.
Guam Power Authority has solicited bids to provide the grid with 80 megawatts of wind power, Sanchez said in an e-mail last week. So far, applicants have said they could provide no more than 50 megawatts. The bids are being reviewed, he said.
Green on Guam
Other recent Navy projects on Guam include:
A "building integrated photo-voltaic" system, shown above, was installed on a building on Guam Naval Base. The membrane’s installation cost $766,000, and it is expected to bring in about 50 kilowatts of power.
In January, a solar water-heating system was installed in a living and shopping area on Guam Naval Base known as 20 Row Barracks. The $1.44 million investment is estimated to save nearly $180,000 in power costs each year.
Also in January, the same system was installed at Camp Covington for barracks for the Seabees who rotate on and off the island. The $591,000 investment is estimated to save $247,000 each year.
Solar panels were installed on the main base’s bachelor enlisted quarters at a cost of $1.3 million. The project is expected to generate 100 kilowatts of power for an annual savings of $246,000.
The service spent about $750,000 on solar-powered LED lights for traffic lights on Polaris Point and playgrounds throughout Guam Naval Base.