Guam - Thinking green is an island wide initiative an initiative that our federal counterparts such as Naval Base Guam are more than happy to get on board with.
NAVFAC Marianas energy manager Derek Briggs told KUAM News, "This is our largest solar installation in the base and we have 1,704 solar panels in this array it's a 250-kilowatt array and in this array we will produce between one megawatt hour and one and a half megawatt hours per day."
In this particular case the energy generated from the solar panels is used primarily to power the homes on the naval base; he says the bottom line is that's power that does not need to be purchased from GPA saving the naval base a little over $100,000 a year.
"Well this big gray box behind us is called an inverter solar panels produce what is called dc power but we use AC power in our house so what this box does is it takes that DC power and converts it into ac power and I think it's at 400 volts," he explained.
That power is then run through a transformer located just outside the solar panel field feeding it into the base's main power grid it is then stepped down to 110 volts which is used in the homes, but making power using the sun is not the end of the naval base's effort to minimize their environmental footprint on the island. "We have basically three things that we are doing one is to just reduce consumption that's to turn things off if they are not being used. One is to improve our efficiencies so we replace equipment with more efficient equipment we use different techniques and that helps us use less power to do the same work and the third step is renewable energy," he said.
Using the sun's rays to create energy is something the naval base has been doing for the last five years. But in addition to renewable energy Briggs says they also stress to their naval base residents to join them in thinking green. "We've worked with our housing people and they've changed some of the equipment on the houses but they have also talked with the residents about not setting the air conditioning too low ideally if you leave the house turn it off," he said.
He says they have also set water heater temperatures to 110 degrees to save energy as well as reminding residents to be energy conscious by practicing energy saving behaviors. He adds that this is not only in the housing areas but on the base overall.