Energy at MSC: Why #PowerMatters

The following blog was written by Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, Commander, Military Sealift Command. He highlights MSC’s drive toward energy efficiency and identifies new tools for our mariners to use to achieve the highest levels of energy efficiency possible.

I love my job. Every day I get to work with people who are forward thinkers and innovators and, above all, people who know how to get the job done. Because of our people, we are transforming the way we use energy.

Big Navy has challenged us with aggressive goals in our 2016 Great Green Fleet, energy efficient acquisition, and technology investments to reduce fuel consumption afloat. Today, I’d like to focus on our efficiency efforts.

 Here’s how the average operating budget of one of our Combat Logistics Force ships breaks out.

14-12a ship budget

As you can see, fuel is the biggest cost for many of our ships. That means it’s the area where we have the most opportunity to reduce costs without sacrificing capability or readiness. Nobody plays a bigger role in getting this done than our mariners.

To assist, we have an energy conservation team that works with our Engineering Directorate. Many of you have already engaged this team, and we are off to a great start. We have 24 initiatives, either completed or underway, that will save from $32k to $525k per ship per year per initiative, mostly using new equipment and technology. But we all know that new equipment and technology alone is not enough. It will take operational and cultural change, good training, clear goals and accurate metrics to achieve the savings we really need. We must integrate all these things into the way we do business, every day.

At home, we don’t run the A/C and a space heater at the same time – we set a temperature that balances comfort and cost. We pull the shades down on a hot day, and we turn off the lights when we leave the room. We need to think about our offices and ships the same way.

We’ve deployed some excellent power plant optimization and alignment tools that provide feedback on the most economic speeds and plant alignments to use during transit. We also developed and deployed tools to our schedulers to help them optimize routes and minimize the miles our ships need to steam to complete their missions.

We regularly publish informative articles in the Engineering Maintenance Management Branch Bulletin in our MSC Document Library (catch the latest installment on Chill Water System Temperature Reset!).

Our energy team is off to a great start, and MSC is leading the way! But we can always do more. If you’ve got ideas, I’d like to hear them. True energy efficiency will start with your ingenuity and creativity!

 Energy conservation is a TEAM sport! We all need to do our part to be good stewards of our nation’s resources so we can help lead the way for our Navy brothers and sisters around the globe.

Thanks for your service,

T. K. Shannon
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
Commander, Military Sealift Command


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