DVIDS – News – A step in the right direction: reducing Misawa’s carbon footprint and enabling energy independence


Amid protecting U.S. interests in the Indo-Pacific region, defending Japan, and deterring adversaries; Misawa Air Base is taking action to simultaneously defeat a different enemy: climate change.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, as climate change worsens, people around the world may suffer from increasingly frequent or severe hazardous weather events; damage to the economy; and declining agriculture, water and air quality.

U.S. Air Force Col. Jesse J. Friedel, 35th Fighter Wing commander, alongside members of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron, presented the nearly $206 million energy savings performance contract completed at Misawa Air Base, Japan on June 8, 2022. The contract included stops at the Misawa Air Base solar field and natural gas plant.

Yoshinori Kohiyama, Mayor of Misawa City, and Andrew Lee, Consul General of the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo, attended the event to view and learn about the contract, which will significantly reduce the carbon footprint of the base and lighten the load on the power grid of the greater community of Misawa.

“The 35th Fighter Wing has 27 green initiatives that demonstrate our commitment to being good stewards of the environment,” Friedel said. “Projects like the solar farm are the foundation for clean, independent power generation, allowing Misawa Air Base to be completely self-sufficient in the event that power from our surrounding community is unavailable. .”

The Energy Savings Performance Contract currently contains two major projects based on:

The first project, which was launched in 2018 and is now nearing completion, is a solar field that reduces the facility’s energy demand by 35%. Equipped with 18,000 solar panels, it will soon supply up to six megawatts of electricity directly to the Misawa Air Base power grid.

“This Misawa Air Force Base action aligns with President Biden’s commitment for the United States to lead by example in addressing the climate crisis, while working with allies and close partners like Japan. to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce emissions,” Lee said. “I am proud to see Misawa Air Base working with the people of Misawa City in our common fight against climate change. »

Solar panels will also help combat greenhouse gas emissions and reduce collective dependence on fossil fuels by providing a clean, renewable source of energy, thereby improving air quality, human health and preventing new climate changes. Additionally, solar power is not dependent on fossil fuels and can be stored on the baseload power grid for future use, allowing Misawa to reduce costs.

Along with the solar field, Misawa Air Force Base is currently set to complete its second project in 2023, the US Air Force’s first natural gas plant. The natural gas plant will burn cleaner than diesel fuel, while expected to reduce nitrogen oxides by 43%, carbon dioxide by 25% and sulfur oxides by 100%, further reducing gas emissions Greenhouse effect.

“Before this tour,” Kohiyama said, “I viewed Misawa Air Base solely as a defense force partner; and now I fully appreciate the US government’s efforts to generate 70 to 80 percent of the total energy of the installation in order to ease the burden on the Japanese energy sector.

Date taken: 06.08.2022
Date posted: 06.10.2022 01:50
Story ID: 422641

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