Naval base coronado

Navy aims to boost energy, data center efficiency at California bases

The Navy will be upgrading data centers as part of an extensive infrastructure improvement project at two bases in California.

Through a self-funding energy savings performance contract with Schneider Electric, the Navy is guaranteed $114 million in energy cost savings, Schneider Electric said. ESPC agreements between federal agencies and energy services companies allow agencies to pay for energy efficiency improvements out of the savings they generate.  

This project covers upgrades to 90 buildings at the Naval Base Coronado and Naval Base San Clemente Island, including data center and electrical upgrades, as well as renewable energy and traditional energy conservation measures.  The project aims to increase the reliability and capacity of mission-critical facilities, reduce overall operational and maintenance costs and add renewable sources to the Navy's energy portfolio. Construction is expected to be complete in 2018.

“Federal facilities face a number of unique challenges, including aging infrastructure coupled with today's climate of rising overhead costs, limited budgets and government mandates, making it essential for these facilities to run at maximum efficiency at all times,” said Schneider Electric’s Jeff Sherman, director of federal energy and sustainability services.

For data center cooling, Schneider Electric will provide a chilled water system that will pump “1,200 tons of chilled water for that server floor,” Meghann Ison, a technical developer with Schneider Electric, told GCN.  She added that her company is providing five modular performance optimized data centers, or PODs, that will house the current servers throughout the project. 

The upgrades will also include “smart” devices, or those that operate autonomously, such as full-building automation systems and SCADA controls, Sherman said. 

However, given cybersecurity concerns, the Navy will be doing the IT upgrades associated with the project itself.  “Due to the sensitivity of the information on that server floor, the Navy requested that they perform the virtualization and consolidation of the servers,” Ison said. 

This project is intended to help the Navy meet a variety of congressional mandates.  It has a solar component that contributes to renewable energy objectives, it has a significant energy reduction component that helps reduce the facilities’ carbon footprint and costs while complying with new federal guidelines for data center consolidation that focus more on optimization as opposed to merely consolidation, Sherman said. 

About the Author

Mark Pomerleau is a former editorial fellow with GCN and Defense Systems.

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