Steam leaks, pipe breaks and other maintenance issues soon could be a thing of the past, at least when it comes to heating 70 buildings at Tinker Air Force Base.
Base officials Tuesday celebrated an $80.6 million partnership with Minneapolis-based Honeywell Building Solutions to upgrade the heating system.
The improvements are expected to save the base more than $170 million over 20 years. The base also annually will reduce its water usage by about 20 million gallons and its carbon dioxide emissions by 60 million pounds, or about the same as removing 6,100 cars from the roads.
“This project signifies our commitment to energy reduction and our growing drive to reduce the cost of sustaining our heating systems while at the same time providing an effective operating base for our strategic partners,” said Col. Steven Bleymaier, the 72nd Air Base Wing and Installation commander at Tinker.
Four centralized boiler plants now distribute steam to 70 buildings throughout the base. Most of the pipes are underground, but they often leak heat and steam. On cold days, steam often can be seen rising from the ground around the pipes.
The pipes regularly break or otherwise require maintenance.
Honeywell is working to replace the centralized heating system with smaller, more efficient heaters in each of the buildings.
“This one project will save 27 percent of the base's energy usage,” Honeywell President Paul Orzeske said. “With the second phase project, we'll be well on our way to meeting the 30 percent savings target set by presidential executive order.”