Energy project aims to get Fort Knox off the grid - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Energy project aims to get Fort Knox off the grid

Many of the alternative energy sources are paying for themselves and did not require any tax-payer funds. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Many of the alternative energy sources are paying for themselves and did not require any tax-payer funds. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Fort Knox will install 10,000 solar panels. (Source: WAVE 3 News) Fort Knox will install 10,000 solar panels. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
A pond provides the air conditioning for an entire data center, saving $120,000 a year. (Source: WAVE 3 News) A pond provides the air conditioning for an entire data center, saving $120,000 a year. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
R.J. Dyrdek (Source: WAVE 3 News) R.J. Dyrdek (Source: WAVE 3 News)

FORT KNOX, KY (WAVE) - With thousands of jobs on the line, a major change is coming to Fort Knox. It's called the Energy Security Project, and it will save the post millions every year.

Step past a gate at central processing facility for natural gas at Fort Knox, and you'll hear it.

"That's the hum of sweet, sweet freedom," R.J. Dyrdek, the post's energy program manager, said.

Pumping natural gas is one of several tools the post will use to be completely off the energy grid when it wants.

[PREVIOUS STORY: Petition aims to stop job cuts at Fort Knox] 

"We see it as energy independence. We see it as energy security," he said.

Being the first post to ever come off an energy grid, may translate into job security too.

Another round of military cuts will be announced as soon as this summer and Fort Knox could shrink by as much as 4,100 jobs.

"We would hope that goes into consideration," Dyrdek said of the energy project.

If not the effort, the Army may consider the savings. The natural gas facility can save $8 million a year in electricity, Dyrdek explained.

But that's not all. How about 10,000 solar panels? There are also 6,000 geothermal wells on post, saving $10 million a year.

The energy investments are everywhere.

A nearby pond provides the air conditioning for an entire data center behind it. Its savings - $120,000 a year.

A Pentagon official wouldn't commit when asked if this would help secure jobs.

"It has an impact, that impact is balanced against all the other needs of the Army," the Army's Force Management Deputy Director John McLaurin said.

Dyrdek says Fort Knox started this trend and now other posts are following along. He hopes that will count when the Army comes up with its number of cuts.

"The Army can sit back and say Fort Knox is doing a good job," he said.

Many of the alternative energy sources are paying for themselves and did not require any tax-payer funds, Dyrdek explained. The solar panels, for example were installed by a private company that will turn the ownership over to the post in 20 years.

The post will continue to use some power from LG&E, but at a lower demand. They say they will never be out of power again.

The post will unveil its Energy Security Project mid-April.

Copyright 2015 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

  • WAVE 3 NewsNEWSMore>>

  • Salem recovery begins after devastating flood

    Salem recovery begins after devastating flood

    Saturday, May 20 2017 11:50 PM EDT2017-05-21 03:50:09 GMT
    Salem flooding damage (Source: Jobina Fortson/ WAVE 3 News)Salem flooding damage (Source: Jobina Fortson/ WAVE 3 News)

    Business owners and volunteers were out picking up the pieces and cleaning up the mud on Saturday.

    More >>

    LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You could hear the pieces slowing being put back together in Salem early Saturday morning. Within three hours, water rose from around four to eighteen feet on the Blue River at Salem Friday night. “It was just unreal,” Bailey Sidwell said. “I just didn'

    More >>
  • Please and Thank You robbed, all stolen money recovered

    Please and Thank You robbed, all stolen money recovered

    Saturday, May 20 2017 12:53 AM EDT2017-05-20 04:53:24 GMT
    Zara Goldberg, a barista at Please and Thank You realized shortly after arriving at work that something was wrong. (Source: Jobina Fortson/ WAVE 3 News)Zara Goldberg, a barista at Please and Thank You realized shortly after arriving at work that something was wrong. (Source: Jobina Fortson/ WAVE 3 News)

    Early Thursday morning, Zara Goldberg, a barista at Please and Thank You, opened the coffee shop for the day. “The sun was already coming up so it was a little less spooky than it could have been,” Goldberg said. However, her morning routine quickly came to a halt.

    More >>

    Early Thursday morning, Zara Goldberg, a barista at Please and Thank You, opened the coffee shop for the day. “The sun was already coming up so it was a little less spooky than it could have been,” Goldberg said. However, her morning routine quickly came to a halt.

    More >>
  • Salem Middle School cleans up after storm

    Salem Middle School cleans up after storm

    Monday, May 22 2017 1:28 PM EDT2017-05-22 17:28:46 GMT
    Crews have a big cleanup on their hands after flooding damaged Salem Middle School. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)Crews have a big cleanup on their hands after flooding damaged Salem Middle School. (Source: Sharon Yoo/WAVE 3 News)

    Extreme flooding took over Salem on Friday night. 

    More >>

    Extreme flooding took over Salem on Friday night. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly