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Marine Corps Installations West

 

Marine Corps Installations West

Serving & Supporting Our Warfighters, Installations & Commands
Energy Conservation
Marine Corps Installations West (MCIWEST) is comprised of six Marine Corps Bases and Air Stations in California and one Air Station in Yuma, Arizona. Our mission is to provide the installation and training infrastructure to enable Marine Corps air and ground forces to live and train in support of the Marine Corps’ mission of winning our nation’s battles and making Marines. To this end, our primary mission is to support the war-fighter’s operational readiness and to provide their families with services that aim to enrich their lives while their loved ones are in the service of our Country.

Energy Independence

The consumption of energy to operate our facilities in support of our mission is a large and recurring cost in terms of both taxpayer dollars and drain on non-renewable resources. Dependence on fossil fuels in a volatile market and from unstable regions of the world is both a financial and security vulnerability. In recognition of these facts, the Commandant of the Marine Corps has set a goal for a 30% reduction in energy consumption by 2015.

To meet this goal, all MCIWEST installations are aggressively pursuing the reduction of our dependence on non-renewable resources. We are doing so by applying cutting edge technology to increase energy efficiency and expanding the use of renewable energy resources such as solar power, wind turbines, and geothermal energy. One installation is planning to utilize methane gas produced by a local landfill. The energy produced is used on the installations or re-introduced to the electrical power grid to offset that used in other locations. Our goal is to achieve “Net Zero,” i.e., producing as much energy as we consume.

Green Base Programs

Buildings and other constructed facilities represent a significant and continuing commitment of Marine Corps resources. Regionally, the Marine Corps will spend more than $4.7 billion on new construction between 2009 and 2014. We will spend more than $260 million to maintain these facilities each year. As responsible stewards of the environment we are accountable to the Nation to utilize our precious resources in a way that is both efficient and sustainable.

Buildings and other constructed facilities represent a significant and continuing commitment of Marine Corps resources. Regionally, the Marine Corps will spend more than $4.7 billion on new construction between 2009 and 2014. We will spend more than $260 million to maintain these facilities each year. As responsible stewards of the environment we are accountable to the Nation to utilize our precious resources in a way that is both efficient and sustainable.

It is our policy to adopt “Green Basing” programs to reduce our environmental footprint to the minimum necessary to accomplish our national security mission. In real terms, this means that all new construction and renovation will comply with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver Standard of the U.S. Green Building Council. The LEED concept is to design, build, and operate sustainable facilities by making special accommodations for energy consumption, water usage, waste management and the use of sustainable or recyclable materials to minimize the project's construction and operational impact on the environment.

These sustainable practices result in reduced operating costs, optimized equipment life-cycles, improved air & water quality, and reduced strain on the local utility infrastructure.

Our programs have received national recognition: both Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow have received awards as Net Zero Green Bases by the Department of Defense.

In addition to incorporating energy efficient design and construction into our new buildings, our installations are applying new technologies to reduce energy requirements. Marine Corps Air Stations at Miramar and Yuma have replaced the incandescent bulbs of their runway lights with Light Emitting Diodes. They are much more durable, and consume significantly less electricity.

Renewable Energy

In March, 2009, installation of the Marine Corps' first wind turbine was completed at our logistics base in Barstow. It provides 1.5 megawatts, or 30% of the base's electrical power needs. Our Mountain Warfare Training Center at Bridgeport is also investigating the potential for using wind energy.

Here in the Southwest, we are fortunate to experience an abundance of sunny weather, which all our installations are taking advantage of to produce electricity from photovoltaic cell arrays. The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center has been drawing on a 1.1 megawatt solar farm since 2003, once the largest photovoltaic system in the U.S. military. Altogether, MCIWEST installations have over 13, 760kilowatts of solar arrays in place, generating about 23 million kilowatt-hours per year, resulting in an annual saving of about $3,000,000. All of our installations are planning to expand their use of photovoltaic power generation.

Additionally, the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma are investigating the possibility of geothermal energy production.

Alternative Energy

Over 1.1 million tons of waste is deposited in San Diego’s landfill, which is located on our Air Station at Miramar. Planning is currently underway for a three megawatt landfill-to-gas project which will generate about 25 million kilowatt-hours a year, for an anticipated annual savings of $3.75 million.

Camp Pendleton uses three 250 kilowatt fuel cells that produce 6.2 million kilowatt-hours annually resulting in yearly savings of over $800,000.

At Camp Pendleton, natural gas powered vehicles have already joined the fleet of base vehicles and the base is partnering with commercial enterprises and the state of California in researching the future use of hydrogen powered vehicles. Also the provision of plug-in stations for recharging electric vehicles is being evaluated.

Maximizing Efficiency

Smart Grid systems utilize sensors and computer controls to balance power supply and demand on the electrical grid. Currently in use at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center and planned for use at other installations, Smart Grid technology may realize as much as a 60% improvement in the efficient use of electricity.

Additionally, heat captured from the electrical generating plant at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center is used to feed the base’s absorption coolers for air conditioning in the summer, when temperatures in the Mojave Desert can reach 120oF. In winter, when the base experiences temperatures in the low 30s, the hot water augments boilers for heating.

National Security

The Marines, Sailors and civilian employees of MCIWEST are proud that our efforts to conserve energy save taxpayers money and reduce the burden on our local communities. We are also proud that we are supporting national security by reducing our reliance on a hydrocarbon fuel supply in an unstable world.