Fort Buchanan enhances readiness through energy resilience
1 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – "Every six months, we conduct preventive maintenance in our two wind turbines to ensure they are mission capable. To do that, we bring them down so technicians can properly work and inspect them," said Homar Velazquez Archilla, Fort Buchanan's Resources Efficiency Manager, who works for the Directorate of Public Works. (Photo Credit: Carlos Cuebas) VIEW ORIGINAL
Fort Buchanan enhances readiness through energy resilience
2 / 2 Show Caption + Hide Caption – "Every six months, we conduct preventive maintenance in our two wind turbines to ensure they are mission capable. To do that, we bring them down so technicians can properly work and inspect them," said Homar Velazquez Archilla, Fort Buchanan's Resources Efficiency Manager, who works for the Directorate of Public Works. (Photo Credit: Carlos Cuebas) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT BUCHANAN, PUERTO RICO- Six years ago, Hurricane Maria, one of the deadliest and costliest hurricanes to strike the island of Puerto Rico, highlighted the integral link between mission capabilities and energy availability at Fort Buchanan, the only U.S. Army installation in the Caribbean.

Building on those critical lessons learned, today, Fort Buchanan is increasingly sustaining its role as a leader in implementing renewable and alternative energy sources in the region.

As we observe October as National Energy Awareness Month, this reality becomes even more critical. Part of that enduring focus on operational energy reliability is conducting preventive maintenance on the installation's wind turbines.

Homar Velazquez Archilla, Fort Buchanan's Resources Efficiency Manager, explained important details of the maintenance conducted on Oct 18.

"Every six months, we conduct preventive maintenance in our two wind turbines to ensure they are mission capable. To do that, we bring them down so technicians can properly work and inspect them," said Velazquez, who works for the Directorate of Public Works.

According to Velazquez, the wind turbines at Fort Buchanan are one of the few models that can be lowered to the surface level for maintenance. Most other wind turbines on the island require the maintenance crew to work at very high altitudes.

"Our wind turbines have a wingspan of 100 feet and are 150 feet high," added Velazquez.

The duration of preventive maintenance operations depends on what the technicians find during regular inspections. The goal is to have the wind turbines back up, generating energy savings in a reasonable time.

"The two wind turbines that we have in Fort Buchanan represent a 2 percent energy savings for the installation every month, which translates into approximately $13,000 monthly in energy savings," added Velazquez.

The wind turbines are only one part of the energy savings efforts at the Army's center of gravity in the Caribbean. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Buchanan also has 21,824 solar photovoltaic panels that can produce about 5.5 megawatts of power.

"In addition to the wind turbines, we have high-efficiency air conditioners units, a water well, and energy-efficient buildings," said Javier Martinez, Electrical Engineer who also works for the Directorate of Public Works.

According to Martinez, these initiatives are helping Fort Buchanan achieve the Army's Net Zero installations goal of producing as much energy as it consumes by 2030.

If you want to know more about Fort Buchanan's commitment to sustaining sources of renewable/alternative energy, visit the installation's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/FortBuchananofficial/

As the only Department of Defense readiness enabler in the region, Fort Buchanan serves a diverse military community comprising approximately 15,000 Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard soldiers, Air Force, Marine Corps Reserve, and the Navy's Operational Support Center members.