News: Building a greener Fightertown
Story by Cpl. R. J. Driver
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. - The Department of Defense is the largest consumer of energy in the world. Every year, the armed forces use 3.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity.
In order to protect the environment and save money, the DOD plans on increasing the military’s renewable energy capabilities. The DOD overall hopes to have renewable energy make up a quarter of the energy it produces or buys.
“We have been doing so many things to make this base more energy and water efficient,” said Neil Tisdale, the utilities director and energy manager for Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. “We have made greener changes by installing photovoltaic panels onto street lights and barracks buildings and installing water saving attachments like shower heads and flush valves on toilets.”
The amount of energy and water military bases consume during a period of time is based on the amount of energy and water the base used during prior years, said Tisdale. With these recordings, policies are put into place that then decide what the bases baseline energy and water use should be.
“MCAS Beaufort’s energy policy states that the base should not consume more than 30 percent below the bases baseline energy usage, but the base is already below 36 percent,” said Tisdale. “In 2020 it’s estimated that the bases policy will be 37 percent, so we are way ahead and close to meeting that goal.”
In regards to water usage the base has put a lot of effort into using as many water saving resources possible. Flush valves, faucet aerators and toggle shower heads are all tools that are being installed all around base to help MCAS Beaufort consume less water. Water collectors have even been installed in the new gym aboard MCAS Beaufort that use collected rain water to flush toilets, said Tisdale.
“We have made serious improvements in our water usage,” said Tisdale. “We already use 26 percent less water than we used in 2007. This is in part done thanks to all of the water conservation utilities we have installed throughout base.”
“Every energy efficient and water conserving measure we take around base makes a difference,” said Tisdale. “We hope to keep making large strides so we can continue to exceed our goals.”