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Dover project promotes energy conservation

  • Published
  • By 2nd Lt. Adam Gregory
  • 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
In February, Dover engineers will begin construction to decentralize heating on base, which is expected to save the base about $1.9 million a year.

This project is estimated to cost just under $25 million and is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 with four contracts already awarded. The funding is targeted at reducing the energy consumption of the current heat plant in an environmentally friendly way.

"The current heat plant is old and inefficient while decentralization will allow the implementation of new, more efficient technologies," said Dennis Committee, 436th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy chief of operations. "This will save us on operation and maintenance costs because of the 24/7 nature of the current heat plant."

The heat plant was constructed in the mid-1950s and burns fuel oil to heat water. The hot water is then pumped to more than 70 facilities, where it is used to heat those buildings. After going through a heat exchanger, the cool water is pumped back to the heat plant.

"Construction is scheduled to begin in February to lay natural gas pipelines and to install boilers in the facilities that are currently using the heat plant," said Jo Anne Deramo, 436th Civil Engineer Squadron project manager. "The pipelines will be completed in February 2011 and the building adjustments in December 2012."

In recent years, newly constructed buildings here have the same condensing boilers installed with an energy efficiency that is greater than 95 percent, said Ms. Deramo. No new specialized training will be required since these boilers are already in use here.

"We have a state emissions permit for the heat plant and this decentralization will allow us to terminate that permit, protecting the environment and reducing our fees," said Ms. Deramo.

The base is required to reduce energy usage by three percent a year, based on 2006 usage, but the decentralization plan is estimated to reduce energy usage by 15 percent.