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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

Navy Base San Diego

Navy Base San Diego 104 Kw
Photovoltaic Project | Larger Photo

Naval Base San Diego (NBSD) is a key component in the Navy’s effort to be a “Global Force for Good.” But with recent environmental initiatives designed to meet and exceed Navy goals, NBSD is proving to be a “Global Force for Green.”

Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus recently stated that the Department of the Navy will produce at least half of shore-based energy requirements on installations from alternative sources by the year 2020. The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) will fund many of these projects.

Naval Base San Diego has completed several projects under the Recovery Act that include three rooftop photovoltaic systems and a photovoltaic carport. In total, they are expected to generate approximately 570 KW and save the Navy $82,000 annually.

Naval Base San Diego’s Mission

Our Mission is to deliver the highest standard of support and quality of life services to the Fleet, Fighter and Family.


Be efficient, effective and innovative and lead by example.


  • 13 piers
  • 11 miles of pier and quay wall space
  • 326 harbor water acres
  • 2,000+ acres of land
  • 49 USS ships
  • 2 U.S. Coast Guard ships
  • 8 Military Sealift Command logistical platforms, research and auxiliary vessels
  • 30,000+ military and civilian personnel work on base
  • 4,000+ men and women housed on base

Additionally, ARRA dollars funded the replacement of 1,182 street and parking lot light fixtures with Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. The existing 400 W fixtures were replaced with 110 W LED fixtures. This project alone reduced electrical consumption by 945.4 MW and saved $120,000 annually. Communication of this initiative with San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) resulted in a collaborative partnership for future additional LED lighting throughout the base.

Recovery Act dollars are not the only source of funding, however. In May 2007, the base developed a Smart Landscape Master Plan to reduce watering requirements. Artificial turf, xeriscape and central computerized weather-based master irrigation control system projects were launched, which to date have saved more than 60 million gallons of water and will continue to save an estimated 20.7 million gallons annually.

Further water conservation measures include replacing 190 urinals with one-pint flushing types and installing 100 waterless urinals, which are estimated to save approximately 3.8 million gallons of water each year.

Naval Base San Diego has one of the largest recycling centers in Navy Region Southwest. The recycling center saves approximately 15 tons of solid waste daily, cutting removal fees by more than $500 a day.

“Through our aggressive recycling program, the base has diverted 43,000 tons of waste, which is equivalent to the weight of ten of the Navy’s frigates,” said Dennis Brazell, Naval Base San Diego resource efficiency manager.

Another program assisting in waste diversion is the base’s Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office (DRMO) which provides processes for turning in computers, monitors and other electronics. On Earth Day, 2010, Naval Base San Diego, in cooperation with metro-San Diego commands received and processed more than 42 tons of electronics and 12 tons of appliances with a resale value of more than $1 million.

Reducing consumption through education, initiatives and innovation is a priority for the base. As part of the Base Energy Awareness Program, an internal energy and water conservation website has been created to provide access to facility utility consumption, instructions, and policies, energy awareness and Building Monitor information. The Building Monitor program identifies a point of contact at each facility and meets with them once a quarter to discuss and train in energy awareness and facility management. These monitors play a large role in managing day-to-day energy usage. Also, all new buildings, through Naval Base San Diego’s initiative to shape future shore design, will be LEED Silver certified in order to advance green technology.

Additional steps have been made to educate not only the base, but the fleet as well. A new Shipboard Resource Efficiency Management program has been established to educate port engineers and ships about tracking utility costs and mitigating the costs through operational measures. Through this program alone, the Navy saved an estimated 5.6 million British thermal units and $2 million in utility costs.

“We are thinking green to get green,” said Capt. Rick Williamson, commanding officer of Naval Base San Diego. “We are reinvesting cost savings, mitigating energy usage and we are leading by example. We want to save money in order to increase our war fighting capabilities.”

Williamson has also encouraged Department of the Navy personnel to use van pools, car pools, bus routes and trolleys. He has also partnered with San Diego Associations of Government and San Diego Metropolitan Transit System and started an express bus from the Murphy Canyon Housing to Naval Base San Diego.

“Our renewable energy and water conservation challenge does not end here,” said Williamson. “We will continue to make improvements. There are always better ways to do business and I am not only looking to senior leadership for ideas, but I am looking to every Sailor. In fact, one of our Sailors brought up the idea to recycle food waste and we are going to explore that possibility.”

For more information, visit the Naval Base San Diego website, or contact Bill Franklin with the Navy.

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