Energy is a fundamental element of living. Electricity, gas, and water specifically makes our lives safe, comfortable, and productive. Energy resources are also vital in sustaining our national security. The economy and military depend on energy now and will continue in the decades to come.
Around the world, countries are seeking to gain an edge in the global marketplace by investing in new ways of producing and saving energy. Globally, nations recognize that the nation that is energy-independent will be the country that leads the global economy. The Air Force is actively engaged to improve our nation’s energy security. Our military leaders recognize the economic and security advantages of becoming energy-independent.
Included in the Air Force Energy Plans are integrating alternative fuel sources, reducing energy consumption and cutting the need for foreign oil that threatens our independence. The Air Force Energy Plan is focused on energy efficiency and conservation measures to assure advantage across air, space, cyberspace and infrastructure.
Hill AFB is serious about meeting its Air Force energy goals. Great strides have been made to reduce the Base energy demand. New construction and major renovation projects are in the works or now completed. All projects meet or exceed U.S. Department of Energy standards. Buildings in disrepair have been demolished; installation of LED lighting and high-efficiency HVAC equipment has been installed. These efforts by the 75th Civil Engineering Group is creating a win/win. People are more comfortable working in the sustainable buildings and the base energy load has been reduced.
Steps towards energy independence begin through the ability to produce energy generation on site. The Base solar photovoltaic array turns the energy from the sun directly into electrical current through the use of photovoltaic cells generating roughly 220 kW of electricity. The Landfill Methane Gas Generation Plant also provides an alternative electrical source creating 2250 kW of electricity that is added back to the power grid.
As additional energy improvement projects are implemented, there is an important factor that can be often overlooked. To truly meet the Air Force energy goals, it requires not only material advances but also human ones. Culture change is among the priorities for the Air Force infrastructure energy horizon.
All through the year, a variety of events are held to bring attention to and educate people on saving energy and environmental conservation practices. Whether you are visiting BX during Energy Awareness Month, Trunk or Treat, Kickin’ It for Conservation, or on the Hubbard Golf Course, there’s a good chance that you will run into the 9-foot-tall energy mascot Colonel Conserve. He, along with the Energy Management Team, is there to bring attention to all conservation efforts.
Achieving our energy goals requires sustained effort, a systematic approach, determined leadership, and a firm commitment from all of us to identify and implement workable solutions. Through planning and preparation, we will be able to provide the support necessary to accomplish the mission.