For more than 246 years, the Marine Corps has stood united in collective service to protect our nation. As our climate changes, severe weather events and other natural disasters place increasing pressure on our environment, lands and resources. This year, Earth Day is an important reminder to reflect on our mission, our environment, and the need to preserve our resources so that we can succeed in our mission for decades to come.
In recognition of this year’s Earth Day theme, “Investing in Our Planet,” the Marine Corps is highlighting the ways it is investing in the future of our planet by increasing facility energy and building resilience. infrastructure. New technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and build resilience will pay dividends not only for the environment, but also for future generations of Marines and their communities.
“We all have an important role to play in sustaining our planet and ensuring the long-term security of our nation,” said Capt. Michael Kenney, director of Marine Corps Installations Command Installations. “The Marine Corps is investing in a host of new technologies, like advanced microgrid systems, that are building energy resiliency and expanding the use of renewable energy at our facilities.”
“We all have an important role to play in sustaining our planet and ensuring the long-term security of our nation.” Marine Corps Installations Command Director of Installations Captain Michael Kenney
For example, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California uses a state-of-the-art microgrid to harness onsite resources. Incorporating a combination of conventional and renewable energy sources, including photovoltaic and solar thermal power and landfill gas, the system allows operations to continue at critical facilities in the event of an emergency or power outage. Funded by the Resilience and Energy Conservation Investment Program, the microgrid not only allows the air station to operate independently of the commercial grid, but also benefits the community as a whole. During the summer heat waves of 2020 and 2021, the microgrid allowed MCAS Miramar to disconnect from the San Diego commercial grid, preserving needed and limited power generation for the rest of the community. This has reduced the number and duration of power outages across the region, demonstrating benefits beyond the facility itself.
Located on the North Carolina coast, Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is no stranger to hurricanes and the damage they can inflict. To build energy and infrastructure resilience, Camp Lejeune is executing a $151 million energy services contract with Duke Energy to improve utility infrastructure, reduce energy consumption and maximize cost savings. Partnerships like this allow the Marine Corps to procure energy and water conservation measures without upfront capital investment. When completed, this comprehensive project will result in lasting improvements to Camp Lejeune’s energy resilience posture and is expected to generate approximately $6 million in annual savings. Investments include upgrading water and wastewater infrastructure, improving solar panels, optimizing heating and cooling, and other energy conservation measures.
Similarly, in South Carolina, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island awarded a $91.1 million energy savings performance contract to Ameresco to optimize efficiency and reduce reliance on the grid. commercial energy through the production of a combined heat and power plant and solar photovoltaic array, an advanced battery energy storage system and a micro-grid control system. Completed in 2019, the 22.5-year contract reduced source energy consumption by 23% and water consumption by 27% compared to 2015, while providing the depot with the ability to isolate itself from the commercial grid with over 10 megawatts of on-site power generation. .
Through these and similar projects across the company, the Marine Corps has successfully reduced facility energy intensity by 20 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 28 percent since 2015, while increasing operations sustainment and mission assurance.