Huge energy savings ahead for Bldg. 9001

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- A $19.1 million project to modernize the central utility plant for Tinker Air Force Base's largest building is projected to cut yearly energy consumption there by 44.3 percent and lower energy expenses.

The 2.5 million-square-foot Bldg. 9001 on the base's south side is home to aerospace industrial operations to maintain, repair and overhaul airframes, components and jet engines for the Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard, Navy and foreign military sales.

The project, which is set to be completed in December, is projected to cut the building's total electric and natural gas consumption to approximately 181 billion British thermal units a year, said Joseph Cecrle, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex energy manager. Current usage is about 409 billion Btus.

The reduction is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of more than 2,000 households, Mr. Cecrle said.

The construction, mostly at nearby Bldg. 9301, will improve the efficiency of the natural gas-burning utility plant. General Motors Co. originally installed coal-fired boilers for the defunct auto plant that began production in 1979. The Air Force acquired the building in 2008 with help from the local community.

Excessive energy costs, leaks and other mechanical problems with the utility plant prompted the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex to rent temporary boilers that needed 24/7 management to meet the building's heating needs. The new system will be automated.

"The boilers were too big, they were old and they were leaking continuously," Mr. Cecrle said. "We were spending hundreds of thousands of dollars every year repairing them."

The work includes replacing the steam and hot water system with modern hot water boilers, updating the chilled water and thermal energy storage system and modernizing the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system. Energy efficient lighting is also being installed.

The project is led by OG&E and funded through a utility energy service contract. The contract enables the base to pay for the project using future energy savings generated by the more efficient energy, water and renewable systems to be installed. Honeywell will provide the upgrades and guarantee the savings.

"This project is another milestone in Tinker Air Force Base's long-term commitment to reducing energy consumption and boosting our sustainability efforts that will benefit the base and the surrounding communities," said Brig. Gen. Mark K. Johnson, OC-ALC commander. "We want to be leaders in sustainability efforts not only within the Air Force, but also among all federal agencies."

OG&E spokeswoman Kathleen O'Shea said the company is "excited to partner with Honeywell and Tinker on this project. We all share a commitment to sustainable energy practices, and we are pleased to support the base in this energy-efficiency initiative."

John Rajchert, president of Honeywell Building Solutions, said "Honeywell is pleased to help a government facility achieve operational excellence and significant energy savings. This project shows the impact that can be made when organizations collaborate to help the Air Force further drive toward its sustainability goal and improving overall infrastructure that will boost operational efficiency."