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Cheyenne Mountain, Cape Cod gain Federal recognition

Cape Cod Air Force Station and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, geographically separated units of the wing, were each recognized by the Federal Energy Management Program in conjunction with the Federal Interagency Energy Policy Committee for energy saving programs.

Cape Cod Air Force Station and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, geographically separated units of the wing, were each recognized by the Federal Energy Management Program in conjunction with the Federal Interagency Energy Policy Committee for energy saving programs.

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- When the list of winners for the 2015 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards was announced July 17, two of them were from the 21st Space Wing. Cape Cod Air Force Station and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, geographically separated units of the wing, were each recognized by the Federal Energy Management Program in conjunction with the Federal Interagency Energy Policy Committee for energy saving programs.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations with significant contributions to energy and water efficiency within the federal government. Outstanding achievements in energy and water efficiency, conservation, and renewable energy implementation are some of the criteria upon which the awards are based.

Brian O'Leary, CMAFS energy manager, was glad to see the team effort of being more energy efficient and reducing costs recognized.

"It's good to be recognized," O'Leary said. "It's definitely a team effort here; everyone contributes, from the commander down to the people who turn off computers and light switches."

Meeting Air Force energy priorities while at the same time reducing consumption and costs was a challenge at the facility. O'Leary explained that a facility with a "no fail" mission such as CMAFS could easily adopt an attitude of being too important to make the efforts needed to use energy in a smarter way.

"If the grid goes down we still have to operate," he said. "But we are different because we were able to reduce consumption while meeting the Air Force goal of a no fail mission" he said.

The award was given to CMAFS for its comprehensive management strategy. The effort reduced energy use by 8.5 million Btu compared to the previous year. The nearly nine percent reduction in use resulted in a cost savings of four percent at a time utility rates jumped by more than five percent.

A few of the highlights in the facility's efforts include indoor lighting and water fixture replacements, removal of water-intensive landscaping, and the replacement of outdoor and interior tunnel lighting with energy efficient LED fixtures.

CCAFS, home to Air Force Space Command's 6th Space Warning Squadron is a phased array warning system radar station located on Joint Base Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Their overall energy and water program resulted in a 21 percent electrical usage reduction.

The facility's use of wind turbines earned it a credit of about $800,000 in 2014, roughly half of the electricity costs.

"I can't emphasize enough the team effort," said Steve Mellin, facility support officer. "We could not do this without the 21st CES guys. And from Air Force Space Command to the 21st Civil Engineers and 21st Operations Group, it's been a real team effort."

A significant part of the overall program at the site involved partnering with the Cape Light Compact, a locally organization funded by area utilities. The group performed an assessment that led to $300,000 in energy projects to upgrade lights and electric motors all at no cost to the air station. The projects resulted in annual savings of $150,000.

"It's kind of humbling," Mellin said. "The competition and the recognition across the federal government is huge. A lot of people put in a lot of time and energy."

Winners will be invited to Washington D.C. to receive their awards at a ceremony to be held at a later date.

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