During last summer’s Rim of the Pacific Exercise,
three fleet oilers delivered a total of 6. 8 million gallons
of 90/10 advanced alternative fuel blend in 27 underway replenishment-at-sea events to 23 U.S. and partner
Alternative JP- 5 aviation fuel producers also are able
to bid on Navy bulk fuel contracts. The Navy describes
qualified alternative fuels as “drop-in” fuels, because no
changes are required to carry, store or use them, and they
perform the same as traditional fuels. Because airlines
are using similar advanced biofuels in their aircraft, the
product is becoming more widely available.
“Interoperability is critical to operational flexibility.
We need to test and qualify fuels entering the commercial supply chain so we can use them if we need to.”
The Navy has some power generation for its shore
bases. But mostly the department relies on the public
utilities grid. Bryan said the Navy is looking for ways
to find alternative sources of power “behind the meter.”
Powered by Nature
“We need to make sure our power to bases, shipyards
and facilities stays up and running, so we are working
with the private sector to develop renewable energy facilities on underutilized land inside the fence line. Many
of these projects provide power to the grid and include
improvements designed to enhance energy security and
resiliency at our installations,” Bryan said.
In some cases, the systems are built, operated and
maintained by developers, with long-term power purchase agreements with the Navy.
Some of the Department of the Navy’s more remote
installations often are good candidates for trying new energy sources.
Solar systems can be placed into
existing footprints on top of buildings and carports, and generate
power and heat water.
But some systems require a lot
of space. The Department of the
Navy’s bases in the West — such as
China Lake, Lemoore, Twentynine
Palms and Barstow — have plenty
of sun and wind, and room to build
the necessary infrastructure to har-
ness those resources. The Marine
Corps Air Ground Combat Center
has an 11-megawatt solar volta-
ic ground-mounted system, and a
World War II aircraft hangar on Ford
Island in Pearl Harbor is covered
with solar panels that generate more
than 300 kilowatts. A remote base
such as Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, is able to generate 3. 5
megawatts from wind turbines, enough for 2,500 homes.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va., burns
trash to produce electricity and steam from municipal
waste. Methane, created by the decomposition of buried
contents at a landfill, also can be used as a fuel. Marine
Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga., is developing a
1.9-megawatt plant that runs on gas from a nearby
Bryan Law, regional energy program manager from
Navy Region Hawaii, said Hawaii is the most petroleum dependent state.
“About three-quarters of electricity produced by the
utilities, which powers our shore facilities in Hawaii,
is generated from petroleum-based fuels. This depen-
dency on imported petroleum fuel has great impacts on
the costs of operating our facilities, and presents a risk
to Navy missions in case of supply chain interruption.
Renewable energy affords the Navy with an off-ramp to
petroleum, while increasing energy security.”
A recent partnership signed between the Navy and
Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) will result a 28-megawatt
direct current solar farm at the West Loch Annex at Joint
Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, and help both the Navy and
the state of Hawaii achieve their renewable energy goals.
With many facilities on the water, the Navy also is
looking at wave, tidal, ocean current and ocean thermal
technologies to determine if they are technically and
One recent success is the opening of deep-water
berths at the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS). Located
on the windward side of Oahu off of Marine Corps
Base Hawaii at Kaneohe Bay, the WETS grid-connected,
The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Murasame-class destroyer JDS Samidare,
left, and the guided-missile destroyer USS Stockdale receive an advanced
biofuel mixture from the fast combat support ship USNS Rainier during a
replenishment-at-sea Feb. 22 in the Philippine Sea. Stockdale is part of Destroyer
Squadron 21, one of the components of the John C. Stennis Strike Group that
operated as part of the Great Green Fleet on a deployment to the Seventh Fleet
area of responsibility earlier this year.