News: Miramar landfill powers up
Story by Sgt. Deanne Hurla
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – The Miramar Landfill officially began providing more than three megawatt-hours of energy. Generators were started during a ceremony held at the Landfill aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar June 14.
Brig. Gen. Vincent Coglianese, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West, Col. Frank A. Richie, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar, the Honorable Jerry Sanders, mayor of San Diego, Mark Comora, president of Fortistar LLC and the Honorable Thomas Hicks, deputy assistant Secretary of the Navy, were present for this historical event.
“Fortistar is proud to have been able to work with [Navy Facilities Southwest} and the City of San Diego help the Marines stationed at MCAS Miramar move toward a more secure energy future by delivering 3.2 MW of electricity directly to the air station,” said Comora. “We are proud to serve those who serve us.”
The concept for this project began in 2007 and developed as a joint venture between the City of San Diego, Fortistar and the air station with a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emission, reduce the energy load on the local energy grid and move the air station in the direction of energy independence. With this opening, the vision is complete.
Through various projects such as this, MCAS Miramar has surpassed the Secretary of the Navy Instruction on energy efficiency and began working toward the creation of a micro-grid energy system.
While DOD requirements include cutting consumption of brown energy, energy from fossil fuels, to 50 percent by the year 2020, MCAS Miramar officials have already reached 51 percent through a multi-point attack. This attack includes the Landfill project, reclaimed water and solar panels.
Powering the air station with renewable energy will benefit both the installation and San Diego by cutting back on the consumption of fossil fuels.
“Whether we’re afloat or ashore, whether we’re talking about alternative fuels to power the fleet or we’re talking about landfill gas to power our installations – it’s about enhancing our combat capabilities,” said Hicks. “It’s about reducing our vulnerabilities to fuel price shocks and grid instabilities.”
While working to be independent of the electric grid, Miramar will also work as an emergency response center for San Diego in the case of a black-out. Removing MCAS Miramar’s energy consumption will also, make the San Diego grid more reliable.
Starting the generators to the Miramar Landfill is one of many steps the air station is taking to be a self-sufficient “green-machine.” The air station plans on being completely energy self-sufficient by 2017.