In early 2009, NSA celebrated the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Renewable Energy Showcase Project at the Agency's Visitor Control Center (VCC1). VCC1 is located off Canine Road and is the welcoming center for visitors with business at the NSA. The Renewable Energy Showcase Project implements solar and geothermal energy solutions that not only reduce the Agency's energy consumption and carbon footprint, but also represents the first application of renewable energy technologies at the NSA.
The various technologies installed at the VCC1 include:
- Photovoltaic (PV) lighting - two solar powered light poles at the front entrance
- PV Power Array - roof mounted system that converts sunlight into electricity
- Daylight Harvesting - five tubular skylights to provide natural lighting
- Water-free Urinal - one installed in the restroom
- Geothermal Heat Pump - with eight vertical wells that use the earth's constant temperature to provide heating in the winter and cooling in the summer.
- Waste Management - solar powered trash compactor and recycling receptacles
The green technologies installed at the Visitor Control Center reduce energy consumption by 76,000 kilowatt hours annually. This is equivalent to: removing 54 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; saving 6,188 gallons of gasoline being consumed in per year; permanently removing 10 passenger vehicles from the road and planting 12 acres of trees per year. In addition, the water-free urinal will save approximately 40,000 gallons of water per unit each year.