Navy Testing Biofuel In Training Ships

The U.S. Navy is serious about its renewable energy efforts. Just days after announcing the successful flight of an unmanned drone using a biofuel blend, the Navy said that it has begun testing using a biofuel blend in its yard patrol (YP) craft at its Naval Support Activity facility in Annapolis, Md.

The YP is a 108-foot Navy training craft used to provide realistic, at-sea training in navigation and seamanship for midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and candidates at Officer Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. These craft can cruise for 1,400 nautical miles at 12 knots for five days without refueling. The Naval Academy currently operates 23 YP craft, each of which uses about 6,000 gallons of fuel annually.

Yard Patrol

image via US Navy

Once the Waterfront Readiness Department tests biofuels in YPs and confirms that they operate as well as conventional fuel, they will likely turn their attention to refueling more of the YPs with biofuels, said Senior Chief Engineman Ted Hayhurst. “Any way we can save the environment or save money, I’m all for it,” he said.

The fuel used to power the YP is a 50-50 blend of petroleum and a renewable algae-based biofuel, HRD-76. The Navy has a goal of 50 percent alternative energy use by 2020.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.