Dyess AFB Implements Renewable Energy

During Assistant Secretary of Energy Alexander Karsner’s tour of the Dyess Air Force Base (AFB) in Abilene, Texas, last week, his team witnessed the advances the Air Force has made integrating energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies into the base’s daily operations.

“Dyess AFB is a leader in employing energy efficiency technologies and in the procurement of renewable energy,” Karsner said of the base. “Dyess is setting an example for the Air Force and for the military in general, about to effect ways to minimize energy supply and enhance our national security mission.” The renewable energy successes at Dyess included wind energy, passive solar, and biomass. According to the release, Dyess AFB was the first entity in the U.S. to use 100% renewable electricity at a single site. Its supply contract provides 100% wind-generated electricity, which makes all of the base’s electrical power pollution free. The Dyess purchase resulted in approximately 75 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of wind energy generated annually, which represented more than 20% of the entire Federal government’s renewable power at that time. In some facilities, Dyess has installed 476 natural day-lighting fixtures in high bay facilities, which provide all the hangar lighting needed on most days, displacing about 350,000 kWh annually. When additional lighting is required, high efficiency, bi-level, metal halide lamps minimize the energy needed to supplement the natural light. In the waste-to-energy plant, two task orders were signed for more than $39 million, one of which will build a waste-to-energy plant that uses municipal solid waste from both Dyess AFB and the city of Abilene. It also uses a second ice plant loop to further reduce electrical peak demand. When complete, the plant will allow Dyess to remove itself from the off-base electrical grid and still maintain 100% operations. “The Department of Energy intends to work more closely with offices in the Pentagon on our core issues of national security, energy security and environmental quality. We intend to build on the Air Force’s leadership so that we can proliferate and accelerate uses of these clean renewable and energy efficient technologies across the nation,” said Alexander Karsner, Assistant Secretary of Energy.
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