After 10 years of effort, Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany has officially become the first electrically “Net Zero” installation in the Department of Defense, running primarily on renewable energy sources.
“MCLB Albany not only provides strategic value to Marine Corps warfighters through sustainment and modernization but now boasts the impressive achievement of the first Net Zero installation in the Department of Defense,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David H. Berger said. “This is the result of years-long efforts of hard-working leaders at the base.”
The MCLB Albany Energy Program began in 2005 with the goal of making the installation the first in the Marine Corps to reach Net Zero. On average, MCLB Albany’s consumption peak is four to six megawatts in winter and eight to 11 megawatts in the summer.
Besides being eco-friendly, the installation has seen many other benefits from its switch, such as a decreased reliance on taxpayer dollars and the assurance of full operation amid natural disasters.
“This is tremendous work by everyone on base,” Col. Michael Fitzgerald, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, commented, “The base can be self-reliant in terms of energy with the resources we have available. The taxpayer gets a break…to me, it is a great way other bases can look at the various definitions of Net Zero.”
To achieve this goal, the installation signed a contract with Constellation New Energy, valued at $170 million for a 23-year life span. This contract brought with it seven conservation measures:
- 5MW biomass steam turbine generator
- 1MW landfill gas generator controls
- Lighting retrofit (10,000K bulbs/132 facilities)
- Four industrial air compressor upgrades
- 68 transformer replacements
- Three boiler mud-drum installations
- Smart micro-grid controls/supervisory control and data acquisition
Besides energy savings, the installation has already seen a significant change in cost savings. The installation has seen the following achievements over the last several years as a result of energy efficiency efforts:
- Base-wide heating, ventilation and conditioning upgrades. Cost: $1.42 million; annual savings of $386,000
- Geothermal storage heat pumps. Cost: $7.2 million; annual savings of $521,000
- Borehole thermal energy storage. Cost: $5.2 million; annual savings of $224,000
- Energy-savings performance contract for a compressed air/light/infrared heat project. Cost: $14.2 million; annual savings of $1.2 million
- Energy-savings performance contract for the landfill gas generator. Cost: $20.6 million; annual savings of $1.67 million. Completed through a contract with Chevron, it includes three miles of pipeline and a 25-year purchase agreement with Dougherty County for the purchase of methane gas.
“MCLB Albany is the first installation in the entire Department of Defense to achieve Net Zero energy, generating more energy than it consumes by implementing a range of climate-friendly solutions,” Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro said. “I am proud of the work accomplished at MCLB Albany, working in close coordination with a variety of partners in making this base more resilient, saving taxpayer dollars and being better equipped to fulfill its primary mission: ensuring Marines around the world have what they need to fight and win.”
The base, though they have already met Net Zero standards, will be working to continue and increase their efforts for an eco-friendly installation with intentions to prepare for all-electric government vehicles and their upkeep needs. MCLB Albany hopes its efforts will inspire other bases to follow in their footsteps and take steps towards more environmentally friendly, cost-effective and disaster-prepared methods of operation.
Source: U.S. Marines