The Naval Air Station Lemoore was one of 11 institutions awarded the fiscal year 2014 Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Platinum Energy Award last month.

For the last 13 years, NAS Lemoore has been awarded a Gold or Platinum level from SECNAV for its conservation initiatives.

Energy Installation Manager Alex Ramos said that due to the scoring rule changes in 2011, it’s been more difficult to meet the criteria for the platinum level awards.

“It’s much more of an accomplishment to reach that platinum level of achievement,” Ramos said.

NAS Lemoore was the only base in the Navy Region Southwest to receive the award.

“We’re pretty proud of the award,” Ramos said. “We’ve got a lot to do, certainly with funding, you know it’s hard to get projects so we’re still trying.”

The award criteria focuses heavily on energy and water usage reduction and projects that have been executed during that year. NAS Lemoore was awarded four projects in 2013.

“When they’re awarded, it just means that the contract was signed,” Ramos said.

The projects are ongoing and Ramos believes they helped to tip the base over the edge into platinum.

The projects include an upgrade of the hangar lighting -- something the base has been focusing on for a few years. Hangar 1 had LED lighting fixtures installed and a lighting control system. Hangar 4 had T5 fluorescent lighting fixtures and skylights in the hangar bay.

“If you put more efficient fixtures in there, and we’re able to shut the lights off when they’re not being used, that’s the bigger energy saver,” Ramos said.

At the water treatment plant, a water reduction initiative is aimed at recycling the backwash through a filtration system back into the plant. The other project, a retro commissioning project, focuses on fine-tuning systems in different buildings to increase energy saving.

“The hangar lighting project is almost finished,” Ramos said. “The water recycling project and the retro commissioning project, those are still in design.”

No data is available for the energy savings yet, as the projects are still under construction, but Ramos said when they are all fully functional the savings should be around $300,000 per year.

The mission of the base is to ensure that the pilots and sailors are able to function properly and the jets are able to fly and be mechanically sound, Ramos said, and while the projects they embark on cost money, they will end up saving more money than they cost.

“In that regard, you know, they’re important because they actually allow us to focus money on more important stuff, which is supporting the mission,” Ramos said.

Looking towards the future, Ramos said that an additional four projects have been awarded for 2014.

“We’ve had two successful years in a row,” Ramos said.

The future projects include a $5 million utilities project, more lighting upgrades with occupancy sensors, installation of variable frequency drives for pumps and fans that operate at only one speed so they can be adjusted to the appropriate speeds.

“With those projects being awarded we should be able to score pretty well for possibly another platinum level of achievement for this next year,” Ramos said.

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