A Record of Energy Achievement at Naval Air Station Keflavik, Iceland

June 1, 2002


A photo outside of NAS Keflavik geothermal/electricity plant. Scene outside NAS Keflavik geothermal/electricity plant. As waste geothermal water is released onto a lava field—a pool and a major tourist attraction are formed.
Located slightly below the Arctic Circle, the climate and geology surrounding U.S. Naval Air Station (NAS) Keflavik, Iceland, presents unique energy conservation challenges and opportunities. Average monthly wind speeds vary from 14 to 20 miles per hour with gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour. Sunlight varies dramatically throughout the year from 4 hours per day in December to more than 21 hours daily in June. For 2 to 3 months in the summer there is continuous daylight in Iceland, and early spring and late autumn bring extended twilight. Iceland has a changeable yet relatively mild coastal climate thanks to the warm Gulf Stream. The average winter temperature in Reykjavik, the capital, is similar to New York City, about 32 degrees Fahrenheit in January. Glaciers cover 5 percent of the country, although they are thinning and retreating.

Over the past several years, the NAS leadership and personnel have met the task of energy awareness head-on. As a result, NAS Keflavik has already reduced its energy consumption almost 40 percent below the 1985 energy baseline. And with heated water and electricity from a geothermal generating station, the energy used at NAS Keflavik is environmentally friendly.

Keflavik's record of energy savings is a result of the dedication of many individuals working together as a team. Keflavik's renovation and construction projects have incorporated the latest technologies, including LED exit lights, high- and low-pressure sodium luminaires, increased insulation, and high-efficiency windows. Timed lights and motion sensors in family housing units and throughout the base add to the savings. ENERGY STAR® computers and appliances are also becoming more common.

Recently, an aggressive consolidation and demolition project helped rid the base of energy inefficient facilities. Also, a re-negotiated geothermal utility contract has resulted in significant energy and cost savings of nearly $1.7 million during FY 2001.

Projects for 2002 include completing a comprehensive building monitoring program, along with planning Earth Day activities, and developing an energy conservation demonstration program for local schools.

For more information, please contact Jeremy Freeman of NAS Keflavik at 011-354-425-4059 or jeremy.freeman@naskef.navy.mil.