Along the Southern Texas border, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) operate fifty-six 80-foot-tall surveillance towers, customized by Tower Solutions. Historically, each tower burns over 5,000 gallons of fuel annually via generator power, which translates to millions in fuel, maintenance and environmental costs per year. In 2017, the FAA and CBP partnered with Stealth Power to solve this fiscal and environmental problem. Enter Stealth Power’s Mobile Power System.
Maintaining continuous power to vital systems in remote locations is extremely difficult and results in complicated, expensive supply chains involving human and resource capital. Until 2017, the border towers relied on generator power for their prime source; wasting fuel and polluting the air. When the FAA and CBP came to us with this problem, it was clear that our Mobile Power System was the solution, so we began configuring the proper system for their purposes. The mobile power system offered clean, reliable energy wherever and whenever it was needed, while optimizing generator runtimes and mitigating unnecessary fuel consumption.
In the fourth quarter of 2019, the FAA and CBP decided to run a pilot program that would upfit two mobile power systems with a solar addition. In the first six months, we recorded a 25 percent increase in monetary savings and a 17 percent increase in efficiency for systems retrofitted with solar power to recharge the batteries. By the fourth quarter of 2020, solar was added to a total of 41 towers – 73 percent of the existing towers with Stealth Power. Each mobile power system costs approximately $50,000 without solar and $64,000 with it. Both the standard and solar-equipped systems produce enough savings to pay for themselves in just over a year.
To break this down, each tower operates 24 hours per day--running on Stealth’s Mobile Power System for 18 of these hours and recharging with a generator for six. This reduces the need for diesel-fueled energy by 75 percent and saves $40,000 annually in fuel and maintenance costs for a standard system. The solar upfitted systems save $49,000 with a 92 percent reduction in fuel use. This translates to a payback period of 1.16 years without solar and 1.33 years with solar. In total, the FAA and CBP have saved $6.1 million in fuel and maintenance costs and avoided 15 million pounds of CO2 emissions since the addition of Stealth’s Mobile Power Systems to their towers.
Stealth Power’s partnership with the FAA and CBP has placed 56 advanced reconnaissance towers equipped with our Mobile Power System in the field along the U.S./Mexico border with 38 more towers awaiting deployment. These towers utilize a variety of equipment to help CBP agents monitor large stretches of remote territory in real time, at night or with poor visibility. In the field, this critical information enables agents to respond quickly and accurately in order to protect our borders from illegal and dangerous activity. Also, the reduction in noise and emissions resulting from our systems produces a healthier environment for agents and the local farming community while helping to combat climate change. We are proud to be a part of the solution for our trusted partners.
Our Mobile Power System can provide clean, efficient power to any company with remote or worksite energy needs. The short payback period, impressive ROI and notable savings and sustainability makes this system an essential solution to eliminating diesel-fueled generators for prime power. If this story resonated with you and your field of work, we would love to have a conversation to see how we can help.
About Stealth Power
Stealth Power designs and builds idle mitigation and scalable hybrid energy systems that power complex fleet operations into the future. Manufactured in the USA, Stealth Vehicle and Mobile Power Systems are trusted by FDNY, U.S. CBP and the FAA to power everything from life-saving medical equipment to remote towers equipped with intelligence sensors. Stealth Power keeps no-fail equipment on with engines or generators turned off.
About Tower Solutions
Tower Solutions is a provider of Mobile Towers for the telecommunications, emergency management, surveillance, wind generation, oil & gas and military markets. Tower's Patented tower technology offers automatic extension and retraction of towers up to 120 feet in height and offering an industry leading payload capacity exceeding 2,000 pounds.