For outstanding water and energy management practices, seven honorees received awards at the Naval Heritage Center in the nation’s capital during the Secretary of the Navy Energy and Water Management Awards, Oct. 6.
This is the 16th year the awards have been presented.
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms were both recognized in the event. Other honorees include the USS Iwo Jima, USS Lake Champlain, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard & Intermediate Maintenance Facility and Naval Base San Diego.
The SECNAV Awards recognizes Marines and sailors who curb greenhouse gas emissions and pollution, including the preservation and management of natural resources.
Since the oil embargo of 1973, the Navy has taken a keen interest in energy issues, said William Tayler, Director of Navy Shore Energy.
“Energy security is vital to military security,” he said.
Though the seven awardees were honored at the SECNAV Awards, one Marine installation was recognized for harnessing the sun’s energy.
The energy team at Twentynine Palms placed a high importance on replacing old energy management systems with a state of the art system, said Gary Morrissett, Energy Manager, Utility/Energy Branch aboard Twentynine Palms. They’ve also made progress implementing photovoltaic energy into the grid, even installing solar panels on sunshades for tactical vehicles and roofs. Other improvements in metering and water cooling have been made, adding to the comfort of Marines and civilians there.
“Our lessons learned can come full circle to civilians,” he said. “At the same time, we’re improving quality of life for everyone residing in this area.”
Other sources of power, such as geothermal energy and methods like cogeneration, which is when useful heat is collected from an electric generator, are being utilized to supplement PV power, he added.
The potential of alternative energy doesn’t end with creature comforts; however, it presents tactical advantages.
“When Marines don’t need to wait for the logistical tail to catch up, operations can be more efficient,” said Maj. William Rowley, Twentynine Palms Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. “The lessons learned can be applied to other bases and even FOB’s in Afghanistan. That’s our job.”