Goodfellow's Renewable Energy
By Randy Wood, 17th Civil Engineer Squadron
/ Published June 28, 2011
GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
We have always been told to turn off the lights and television when leaving a room. This is based on sound wisdom. Saving energy offers immediate benefits on a personal level and long-lasting benefits to the environment. Our energy saving practices will determine what we will leave to future generations. Energy conservation comes in many forms, such as unplugging items when they are not in use, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, programming thermostats and sealing leaks.
The Environmental Protection Agency states that 71.5 percent of U.S electricity comes from nonrenewable resources such as oil, gas, and coal. Consuming the nonrenewable resources at a high rate means future generations will be forced to utilize renewable energy sources such as wind, water and solar power. Only nine percent of U.S. electricity is currently generated by these sources. Goodfellow gets five percent of our electricity from wind resources. Based upon these personal, environmental, and economic reasons, multiple Executive Orders have been issued by the Federal Government to its agencies. Executive Order (EO) 13423, "Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management" directs 30 percent energy intensity reduction by 2015 and a 16 percent water use intensity reduction by 2016.
Goodfellow is following these directions by changing and enhancing building construction and operation and maintenance practices. These changes and enhancements can be seen on Goodfellow as solar powered traffic signals and signage. New buildings such as the new 200 room dormitory (Building 3135) incorporate high efficiency boilers for space heating. Domestic water will be heated via solar systems. A project in the final planning stages will produce multi-facility energy improvements, including heating, cooling, and lighting energy use reductions. The project is based upon an audit of 37 facilities on Goodfellow.
Goodfellow is also investigating new lighting technologies that will yield 30 to 40 percent energy savings.
What can I do to help?
While in your room, ensure the thermostat is set to 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer. When leaving your dormitory room, power down your PC, turn the thermostat off, turn off lights and other electronic devices, and keep your windows and doors closed.
(Mary Lumsdon, 17th CES contributed to this article)