Sea Change: Energy Retrofits to Battleship USS New Jersey Are Expected to Save $200K Annually

The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, the Home Port Alliance for the USS New Jersey, and the Camden County Improvement Authority have approved three energy efficiency projects to upgrade the historic Battleship USS New Jersey – which was commissioned in December 7, 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, to fight in the Pacific Theater. The retrofits are expected to reduce the ship’s total energy-related costs by about $200,000 annually, or 32 percent.

The expense of the three efficiency initiatives is being offset by incentives from New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program totaling $511,000. The improvements will include:

  • Upgrading about 2,500 T-12 historic interior light fixtures containing antiquated fluorescent tube bulbs with 5,000 new highly energy efficient solid state LED tube bulbs from Revolution Lighting Technologies, to reduce lighting energy use by more than 72 percent, or $57,000 annually;
  • Converting the ship’s very inefficient electric heating system to two natural gas-fueled RBI Futera Condensing Boilers, in order to save about $120,000 annually; and
  • Replacing exterior lighting with LED upgrades – a project that will begin after the other two are concluded.

“America’s largest and most-decorated battleship is the pride of New Jersey, for whom she is named,” said Richard S. Mroz, president, New Jersey Board of Public Utilities “While many New Jersey residents and businesses are already taking advantage of the benefits offered by energy-efficient improvements, the installation of LED lighting at a high-profile tourism destination such as the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial will help raise awareness of the benefits offered by energy conservation.”

In the past 15 years, New Jersey has invested more than $2.6 billion into about 1.5 million energy efficiency projects statewide; reducing electricity usage by approximately 7 percent. The cumulative energy savings over the lifetime of those projects is enough energy to power about 3.1 million homes for a year

Since the adoption of Governor Chris Christie’s 2011 State Energy Master Plan, the average retail prices of electricity are down by 7.6 percent, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

“Now students and visitors who come aboard the USS New Jersey will, in addition to learning about the Battleship New Jersey’s prestigious history and the those who served aboard her, also gain an appreciation for the importance of energy conservation and how new technologies can help in preserving our nation’s most sacred memorials,” said Captain Walter Urban, USN (Ret.), Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Home Port Alliance for the USS New Jersey.

To assist in addressing the high cost of heating the ship and to conserve demands upon the distribution grid, PSE&G contributed to the energy efficiency efforts by installing a natural gas supply line to an area near the ship’s dock.

Once the two current upgrade projects have concluded, a Request for Proposal (RFP) to address the ship’s exterior lighting will be issued. Exterior lighting costs currently exceed $36,000. Once completed, external lighting upgrades are expected to produce significant energy cost savings while greatly improving the ship’s appearance.

The Department of Defense (DoD) spent $16.7 billion on energy use in 2015, and the U.S. Navy consumes 29 percent of this usage.

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