Air Force

March 7, 2013

D-M talks at Solar 101

Senior Airman Timothy Moore
355th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Leaders from D-M and the local community attended the 60th Solar 101, held at the Murphy-Wilmot Branch Library on Feb. 19.

Prominent figures in the Tucson community that attended the event included Congressman Ron Barber, U.S. Air Force Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander, and Col. Greg Williams, 355th Mission Support Group commander.

Solar 101 is a community education series on solar energy. The 60th Solar 101 allowed members of the Tucson community, including University of Arizona students and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base personnel, to take a closer look at the innovations D-M and the Soaring Heights community have taken in using renewable energy. It also addressed benefits of using renewable energy sources.

“There are about 16,000 solar jobs in Arizona now,” Barber said. “Also, we have seen the extension of the renewable tax credit that we can take on our federal income tax, if we install renewable energy in our homes.”

Barber also spoke about the cost of renewable energy, which has always been an issue when dealing with renewable energy sources. Renewable energy sources have not always been competitive, but in 2007 that began to change.

“Since 2007, the price of solar energy has dropped over 50 percent and is still going down,” Barber said. “There is some research that is going on at the University of Arizona that, I believe, is not only going to improve the price point, but perhaps get it down below other current energy sources.”

Though Barber was very positive about the solar energy initiatives taking place in Arizona, all efforts are not going towards the advancement of those initiatives.

“The Arizona Corporation Commission, which is an elected body of five people that regulate utilities in our state, has eliminated some of the financial incentives for rooftop solar and commercial solar,” Barber said. “These actions have the potential to roll back what progress we have made over the last several years.”

Barber has encouraged those who believe in renewable energy in Arizona to let the commission know how they feel about these actions.

“It’s not the time to put on the brakes,” Barber said. “Even in spite of that possible setback, there has been great progress made.”

Colonel Blanchard spoke briefly about the solar energy plans that D-M has already implemented as well as how the base approaches new plans.

“In our partnership with our contractor who runs our housing community, Soaring Heights, as well as with our civil engineering squadron, we have made great gains and are about to make even greater ones on the solar renewable energy initiative,” Blanchard said. “For every project we look at on D-M, in terms of a new building or new housing project, we look at long-term sustainment to lower costs.”

Blanchard explained that there may be more upfront costs with installing solar arrays and insulation in buildings to make them more energy efficient, but the long-term effect will help to lower costs. In 2012, D-M decreased their electricity bill by more than $450,000, compared to 2011.

“A lot of that decrease is due to the solar energy initiatives and also the conservation initiatives with better insulation and better design of buildings as well as reducing energy used per square footage based on needs,” Blanchard said.

These reductions do not solely belong to D-M. The Air Force has had a 16 percent reduction in energy use per square foot since 2003. Renewable energy resources account for six percent of the power the Air Force uses.

Greg Noble, 355th Civil Engineer Squadron energy manager, explained how D-M contributes to that reduction through its use of solar arrays and absorption chillers in the cooling of buildings, which is one of D-M’s main energy demands, on days when energy demands are reduced.

“We can use solar power, energize the electric chillers, build ice and then use the ice during the work week when our demands are very high and expensive,” Noble said. “From that standpoint, it gives us tremendous flexibility at what you can do with that solar power.”

Though solar arrays can catch only about 30 percent of the solar energy that hits their panels, D-M and Soaring Heights are looking for ways to store solar energy that is not being used. The technology to do so is not available, but maybe one day it will be.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Why Air Force Smart Operations – or AFSO?

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO – RANDOLPH, TEXAS — Confucius once said that in order for a man to move a mountain he must first begin by carrying away its small stones. Now, if one is to imagine the Air Force as that giant mountain, how does an Airman begin trying to move it? That is,...
 
 

AEF Teaming brings new order of business to deployments

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — For many Airmen deployments are hard to understand, and for leaders they’re hard to sell and to sustain. Implemented in October 2014, Air Expeditionary Forces Teaming was designed as a way to improve predictability, visibility and stability for units and Airmen while maintaining the flexibility to satisfy combatant commander requirements downrange....
 
 
(U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Frank Casciotta)

New Airmen get their bearings

VANCE AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. — New Airmen go through a whirlwind of activities during the transformation of civilian to active duty Airman, which can be a confusing process. Lucky for new Airmen, there’s the First Term A...
 

 

Air Force seeks $10 billion over sequestration funding

WASHINGTON – The demand for Air Force capabilities is increasing, therefore the service is requesting $10 billion more than sequestration-level funding provides, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said today in Orlando, Florida. Speaking during the Air Force Association Air Warfare Symposium and Technology Exposition, James discussed why the Air Force is taking its strongest...
 
 

75 day leave carryover ends Sept. 30

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas (AFNS) — Effective Sept. 30, military members will no longer be able to carry more than 60 days of leave into the next fiscal year, in accordance with 2013 National Defense Authorization Act requirements. Unless they are approved for special leave accrual, regular Air Force and Active Guard Reserve, or...
 
 

Generals outline Combat Air Force’s future challenges

ORLANDO, Fla. (AFNS) — Four senior Air Force leaders discussed key issues facing the nation’s Combat Air Forces at the Air Warfare Symposium here, Feb.12. During the hour-long discussion, leaders touched on budget concerns, ongoing operations against the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant terrorist group, the future of fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 Raptor and F-35A...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin