PORT HADLOCK, Wash. — Noisy diesel powered generators will soon give way to silent and reliable permanent shore-based power to the pier at Naval Magazine (NAVMAG) Indian Island. The $4.8 million one-year project is scheduled for completion in June.
The contract includes running a new 12.5 kilovolt (kV) medium voltage transmission system, a utility corridor for maintenance work, engineering costs, a new medium voltage switchgear and safety devices along the designated route.
Seattle’s North Star construction is the prime contractor.
The generators are required to provide electrical power for visiting submarines moored to the pier at Indian Island. “This upgrade not only helps the environment, but it results in cost savings and sustained reliability,” Cmdr. Nick Vande Griend, NAVMAG commander said. “The project helps us support the fleet when called upon to do so.”
The change to shore-based power and removing the two diesel generators reduces the Island’s carbon footprint and eliminates noise, explained NAVMAG Facilities Manager, Gene King.
“The power will come from Jefferson County Public Utilities District (JPUD), which means Indian Island will see an increase to our monthly electrical bill providing increased revenue to JPUD,” King said. “The return on investment coupled with the environmental gains, makes it a win-win for all.”
The swap to permanent power also eliminates an EPA permit for emissions from the generators. Since 2005, NAVMAG has relied upon the diesel generators to supply power to the visiting submarines.
“The generators had to run as long as a submarine was at the pier, which means 24/7,” King said.
This amounted to an average of 18,000 gallons of diesel fuel used per submarine visit. While one generator ran power to the submarine, the other generator could serve in a back-up role and maintenance could be conducted on the back-up. Bill Kalina, NAVMAG’s environmental site manager, estimates the generators use about 100 gallons of diesel fuel per hour of use.
“That’s nearly $300 in fuel costs alone per hour. We will save money over time with shore-based electrical power,” Kalina explained.
Kalina said the diesel power generators produce more pollution than anything else at Indian Island and require an annual permit from the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency (ORCAA). ORCAA is a local government agency charged with regulatory and enforcement authority for air quality issues in Clallam, Grays Harbor, Jefferson, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston counties. The current permit allows NAVMAG to run generators until permanent shore-based power is complete.
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