Wind Power Debuts at Gitmo
Standing 275-foot tall, with blades spanning 177 feet, the Navy’s four new 3-blade wind turbines are among the most noticeable features at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Each of the four turbines will generate 950 kilowatts (kw) of electricity. Together, the four turbines will generate 3,800 kw, and in years of typical weather the wind turbines will produce almost 8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity. They will reduce the consumption of 650,000 gallons of diesel fuel, reduce air pollution by 26 tons of sulfur dioxide and 15 tons of nitrous oxide, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 13 million pounds each year.
The new wind turbines will provide as much as 25% of the base’s power generation during the high-wind months of late summer, and are expected to save taxpayers $1.2 million in annual energy costs. The project began in July 2004 and cost nearly $12 million. Construction of the wind energy project was made possible through a partnership between the Navy and NORESCO of Westborough, MA as part of an energy savings performance contract (ESPC).
ESPCs allow the Navy to achieve federal energy saving requirements by using public sector financing to improve energy efficiency and further the goals of the United States to be less dependent on foreign oil imports, to be good stewards of the environment and to be in the forefront of developing and using renewable energy technology.
The Navy’s worldwide energy program is managed by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command. The program includes state-of-the-art technology and design, the most energy efficient products, and a focus on individual contributions toward improved conservation and operations and maintenance strategies that significantly reduce energy consumption by Navy and Marine Corps installations worldwide, saving taxpayers more than $500 million each year.
In 2004, the U.S. Navy became the first U.S. government agency honored with a Platts Global Energy Award for its extraordinary leadership and achievement in energy management. Navy News Release.