Navy showcases B20-powered steam plant

By Ron Kotrba | January 17, 2013

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Energy) Tom Hicks toured a steam plant at St. Julien’s Creek Annex in November in Portsmouth, Va., now running on B20. The plant is the Navy’s first one in the Mid-Atlantic area to run on B20. The fuel provides steam to heat 16 office buildings and 13 warehouses. It is expected that the fiscal year 2012 (FY13) heating season will require the use of about 235,000 gallons of B20. The Navy said using B20 will not increase the Navy’s costs to heat the base and it will help meet the Secretary of the Navy’s goals for greater energy security.

“The Navy uses an annual average of 30 million barrels of fuel per year which equates to about $4 (billion) to $5 billion of fuel cost,” says Hicks. “Because of this, it is important to explore additional and alternative sources.”

“The steam plant is using B20 and this fuel blend will help make progress towards the Navy’s renewable energy goals,” says John Breckner, renewable energy program manager for Naval Facilities Engineering Command Mid-Atlantic. “This is one of the pilot projects for the heating season and we hope to expand to other areas in the region.”

St. Julien’s Creek Annex is a U.S. naval support facility that provides administrative offices, light industrial shops and storage facilities for tenant naval commands. Its primary mission is to provide a radar testing range (35 acres or 141,640 square meters) and various administrative and warehousing structures.

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