News: Marines take lead on green ideas
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. — Well on its way to becoming the Department of Defense’s first net zero energy installation, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., continues to bring energy efficient ideas to life in waste disposal and renewable energy.
Through various projects such as the energy purchase of the Miramar Landfill, which will generate more than three megawatt-hours of energy, and the construction of several hundred solar panels aboard the air station as well as a diesel generator, MCAS Miramar has surpassed the Secretary of the Navy Instruction on energy efficiency and begun working toward the creation of a micro-grid energy system.
This system will allow MCAS Miramar to operate as a “911” base in case of an emergency or power outage in the local area, separate from the San Diego General Electric power grid.
While DOD requirements include cutting consumption of brown energy, energy from fossil fuels, to 50 percent by the year 2020, air station officials have already reached 51 percent through a multi-point attack.
“We are attacking energy conservation from every aspect,” said Randy Monohan, the MCAS Miramar utilities and energy manager. “We are using solar power generation, reclaim water and the power from the landfill. We have pinpointed the locations of massive energy consumption and gone through to fix each problem individually.”
Approximately 1,000 solar panels have already been installed around the air station. These include a 330 kW solar carport and on the roof of the solar heated training tank. Thirteen SolFocus panels are also being installed on base, which are set to produce an additional 120 kW of renewable energy as well as continued back-up generation.
As a second energy conservation measure, reclaimed water is now being used for irrigation and plumbing at offices across the base.
“We are installing several miles of new water lines,” said Monohan. “The water is funneled to a water treatment plant and cleaned. While not to drinking standards, it is completely safe for pretty much any other use: toilets, cleaning, watering the golf course and ball fields, whatever is needed. This is much better than just continuing to use more and more water.”
To alleviate water consumption, numerous exercise and ball fields have now been replaced with Astroturf. This is done to prevent necessary irrigation and maintenance consumption.
At one time, four fields could use more than 7,000,000 gallons of drinking water annually, costing $72,000. The replacement of these fields and use of reclaimed water has significantly decreased those types of costs.
As the final attack on fossil fuel consumption and the largest contributor toward the goal of energy independence, MCAS Miramar signed a 15-year purchase-of-power agreement that is set to generate a total of approximately 24,000 MW of renewable, or green, energy. The construction is set to be complete by May 2012.
As each project comes to completion, MCAS Miramar pulls into the lead on becoming one of the first to complete the Secretary of the Navy Instruction brown energy consumption requirements ahead of schedule, as well as complete energy independence with the creation of its own micro-grid.
Date Posted:03.12.2012 11:59
Location:MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, CA, US
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