Port of Bremerton aims to lower energy costs

The Port of Bremerton has announced it will reduce energy consumption at the airport, marinas and industrial park with its 10 Percent Plan.

According to Laura Melrose, project assistant at the port, the goal is to achieve a “10 percent reduction in energy use and expense by improving practices and behaviors throughout our operations and seek to achieve additional reductions through cost-effective investments in building efficiencies.”

The action plan for energy efficiency and environmental stewardship was released in January with an aggressive approach to lower the port’s consumption and environmental footprint.

The first objective of the plan is to achieve energy savings by improving efficiency practices in each of the port’s core businesses and by investing in efficiencies in the energy systems the port occupies.

For this, the port needed to establish a baseline in order to gauge how much energy it uses every year by compiling data from 2007 through 2009.

One of the first measures the port took in lowering energy costs was Ed Draper’s idea to direct the maintenance crew at the airport to turn down the maintenance shop thermostat to 55 degrees.

They are also implementing energy-efficient lighting and computer policies that office staff can follow.

The second objective is to apply energy-efficient standards with businesses that are tenants of the port’s commercial properties.

“Steve Slaton, our director of marine facilities, registered the Port Orchard Marina for Puget Sound Energy’s (PSE) interval service,” said Melrose. “This service allows marina crew to log in and check at any time on energy usage at the marina, where it is being used and what the costs are, it’s quite a fascinating system.”

The third objective is to seek out possible ways to generate a portion of its power from renewable resources.

The port plans on exploring small scale solar projects and taking advantage of state and federal incentives to create more renewable energy sources.

The fourth objective is to participate in PSE’s Green Power program which uses a portion of its energy efficiency savings for the purchase of Green Power credits.

Under the plan, PSE purchases renewable energy credits from regional renewable energy facilities on the port’s behalf.

This guarantees that electricity from wind, solar and biomass facilities is delivered to the regional power pool. Electricity from these sources reduces the need for electricity generated from non-renewable sources like fossil fuels.

Sustainable practices, lowering consumption and the creation of clean jobs are also part of the strategic operating plan.

A news release from the port explains, “We may be one small local government doing its part, but in doing so, it also has the opportunity to show leadership and commitment in a worldwide transformation to protect our climate and environment.”

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