Pantex Ready to Measure Environmental Success
Installation of meters will help to reduce energy consumption
The Pantex Plant took a significant step toward energy modernization this week with the installation of metering technology at the site’s steam plant.
Workers installed the electric and gas meters on the steam plant’s utilities to provide detailed data on energy usage, which will then provide the information needed to reduce energy intensity. The metering project is an important part of the plant’s effort to comply with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.
Pantex has been aggressively executing the metering plan along with dozens of other energy and environmental initiatives, establishing itself as a leader within the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
“Taking care of the environment is an absolute priority for us at Pantex, and reducing energy usage is an important part of that effort,” said B&W Pantex General Manager John Woolery.
The steam plant metering project is only one step in the plant’s overall metering effort. The original plan called for installing the meters on 24 buildings, but additional funds were secured to add meters in 13 more buildings, which will help Pantex comply with all of the metering requirements outlined in the federal directives.
The project will place “smart meters” in the facilities to measure natural gas and electric usage. The meters will provide detailed, real-time monitoring of energy usage.
Real-time monitoring is crucial because it will help identify areas where energy is potentially being wasted. For example, a spike in energy usage at a building might indicate a leak or malfunction, while high energy usage overnight might point to a facility that is not being fully shut down at the end of a shift.
“Installing meters on one building might not seem significant, but metering is a key first step to energy reduction, and the steam plant uses over 50 percent of the energy consumed on the site,” said Julie Chavarria, Pantex Energy Manager. “Acquiring this data will essentially provide us the road map of where we need to go as we move toward reducing our overall energy usage.”
B&W Pantex manages and operates the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. B&W Pantex is also the proud recipient of the DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program STAR status for safety excellence. The company was also named one of America’s safest companies by Occupational Hazards magazine and has received numerous awards from the National Safety Council.
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