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Vandenberg leads with energy projects

Being more energy efficient helps the environment. (Courtesy graphic)

Being more energy efficient helps the environment. (Courtesy graphic)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- There is an ever-increasing focus on containing energy costs and conserving the energy and resources we use here at Vandenberg. The energy team here is leading the way to develop some projects that are receiving national attention.

Vandenberg has been selected as a test site for Light-Emitting Diode street lighting. Air Force Space Command and possibly the entire Air Force are looking to Vandenberg to determine if LED street lights are cost effective. The streetlights along California Avenue just inside the gate are new LEDs. Space Command is using the test to determine which lights to buy as part of a nation wide contract.

Another project underway includes refitting the base pool with solar thermal pre-heat to reduce the natural gas consumption for water heating. The pool will also be resealed to repair water leaks.

The energy team won approximately $2 million in energy funding to replace or retrofit older lighting. More than 100 buildings will be retrofitted throughout the next year with energy efficient lighting saving electricity and improving lighting conditions.

Last year Vandenberg's department team embarked upon an aggressive program to replace old utility meters with newer, highly sophisticated "smart meters" that are read remotely. The smart meters also allow energy equipment located at the sites to be remotely monitored by a central computer system. Next year the energy team hopes to install an Energy Management Control System to better monitor and control energy intensive systems throughout the base.

What does the future hold for Vandenberg's Energy Conservation Program? Photovoltaic arrays? Wind farms? Wave energy? Stay tuned for future updates or visit the base Web site at http://www.vandenberg.af.mil.