Made here, used here time and again: MCAS Miramar landfill provides renewable energy

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar / 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Story by Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

Date: 06.03.2013
Posted: 06.04.2013 16:24
News ID: 108053
Made here, used here time and again: MCAS Miramar landfill provides renewable energy

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Marines and other local leaders will gather at the landfill to highlight the one-year anniversary of the Miramar Energy Project aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 7.

The generators began producing energy for the air station June 14, 2012 by collecting methane gas and converting it into renewable fuel, while boosting eco-friendly consumption of energy and lowering the air station’s dependence on San Diego’s power grid.

“We have gone through a huge amount of effort with the landfill as far as renewable energy is concerned,” said Mick Wasco, the energy program manager for the air station. “To this date, we have roughly 23,000 megawatt-hours of energy from the landfill. The project is working out exactly as planned. We are creating and using this renewable energy here on the air station.”

The past year brought the installation that much closer to its over-all energy goal.

“The base itself has come a long way in conserving its natural resources,” said Col. John Farnam, MCAS Miramar commanding officer. “The methane project at the landfill brings about 50 percent of the energy we use aboard the air station. That gives us an energy assurance. Should other power sources fail, we have what we need to accomplish our missions.”

To maximize the energy output from the landfill and solar panels, Marines are being encouraged to use energy conservation techniques such as turning off lights, opening windows rather than using air conditioning, taking shorter showers and using less water.

“We are in the process of educating the Marines aboard the air station about how they can do their part,” said Wasco. “I want them to learn what they can while they are here. Then, when they leave to go to their new duty stations or back into the community, they can know what to do to conserve. Educating the Marines will see us to our ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.”

While working to be independent of the electric grid, MCAS Miramar will be an emergency response center for San Diego in case of a black-out. Removing the impact of the station’s energy consumption will also make the San Diego grid more reliable, and lessen the likelihood of power outages.

With the landfill providing energy and the command educating its Marines, MCAS Miramar plans on becoming completely self-sufficient by 2017.