The Naval Academy's Waterfront Readiness Department refueled yard patrol (YP) craft 692 with a biofuel blend Sept. 15 at Naval Support Activity Annapolis, demonstrating the academy's commitment to the Navy's energy goals.
The fuel is a 50/50 blend of petroleum and a renewable algae-based biofuel, HRD-76. Last month, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus announced the Navy's latest initiative to partner with federal and private organizations in creating a sustainable U.S.-based alternative energy source, citing energy independence as necessary to national security. Richard Leung, an engineer with Naval Sea Systems Command who accompanied the shipment of 4,000 gallons of biofuel to Annapolis, also emphasized the need for alternative energy. "Biofuel is important to the Navy for energy security," said Leung. "It reduces our dependence on foreign energy sources."
In October 2009, Mabus called for a goal of 50 percent alternative energy use in the U.S. Navy by 2020. YP 692's transition to biofuel is just one step toward reaching that goal at the academy. his initiative is one of many throughout the Navy and Marine Corps which will enable the Department of the Navy to achieve Secretary Ray Mabus' energy goals to improve our energy security and efficiency afloat and shore, increase our energy independence, and help lead the nation toward a clean energy economy. Once the Waterfront Readiness Department tests the use of biofuels in YPs and confirms that it operates as well as conventional fuel, they will likely turn their attention to refueling more of the YPs with biofuels, said Senior Chief Engineman (SW) Ted Hayhurst, chief engineer in the Waterfront Readiness Department. "Anyway we can save the environment or save money, I'm all for it," said Hayhurst. The YP craft support shipboard navigation and damage control training for the Brigade of Midshipmen. The Naval Academy currently operates 23 YP craft, which each use approximately 6,000 gallons of fuel annually.