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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Base holds energy conference

By Pamela Jackson | | March 18, 2010

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany hosted approximately 50 officials from around the state for the 2nd annual Georgia Military Installation Energy Conference, March 9.

The event was attended by representatives from other military installations in Georgia, private companies and educational institutions. Highlighting the event was the first-ever project of its kind in the Marine Corps, the landfill gas-to-energy partnership between MCLB Albany and Dougherty County, Ga.

Representatives from installations such as Robins Air Force Base, Ga.; Moody Air Force Base, Ga.; and Ft. Stewart, Ga., discussed the energy-efficiency projects they are currently using, which ones have worked for them and what new information they could take away to help meet presidential, congressional, federal and individual service mandates for energy conservation.

Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, said, “The purpose of this event was to discuss the mandates that have been levied upon us to reduce energy and water conservation. Our goal was to get everyone together to exchange ideas that we are pursuing, both good and bad. Hopefully at the end of the day, each of the installation representatives can go back to their bases and share what they learned and implement it at their locations.”

Williams said there is a mandated requirement for 30 percent energy intensity reduction, which is based on a 2003 energy baseline, by 2015 and increase renewable energy usage by 2025 to 50 percent.

“The reason we have some of the commercial energy companies here is to make sure they are a part of this. For example, our new landfill gas partnership is with Chevron Energy Solutions, and they are here because we have contracted with them for our project with Dougherty County. This project will allow us to utilize landfill gas to produce electricity on site, which will be used to operate a 1.9 megawatt combined heat and power generator,” Williams said. “Implementation will bring the base’s total renewable energy use to 22 percent and we will meet our requirements before deadline, allowing us to do other creative things as well.”

Fred Broome, director, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany, said, “We hope to accomplish a collaborative effort not only among the installations, but to also bring in academia and industry. Our discussions are around what is working, what is not, and what new ideas we can come up with to meet the energy mandates placed on all of us. The landfill gas project will help us meet some significant mandates, some of which are close and some are further out.”

“Thankfully, the landfill gas project will help us exceed those goals. We have to also use other technologies such as geothermal, solar power and ground source heat pumps. We know what the mandates are and where we want to go, but we had to bring the subject matter experts in to help us get there. This is a great place to exchange ideas and learn from others,” he said.

Jay Smith, area manager, Georgia Power Company, said he attended the conference to listen and learn to build on the existing relationship with MCLB Albany and the other bases around the state.

“My colleagues and I are here in various roles to listen and learn. We work very closely with the energy managers on the bases and try to stay plugged in to what they are doing so we can lend assistance, understand their business and help them understand ours. The biggest benefit to me for attending this conference is an increased understanding of the mandates the installations are under and seeing how we can help them,” he said. “My company has a lot of information and capabilities on the energy side and while it is not our core business, it is an ancillary business where we can provide a lot of support and help to them.”

Representatives from Albany State University and University of Georgia were also in attendance.

Dr. Jonathan Jefferson, Dean of the College of Business, Albany State University, said he attended to understand and listen to what everyone else is doing because ASU is considering a degree program in energy management.

“We are also looking for ways that ASU can help with energy management and green energy efficiency, as well as opportunities for the college of business to work with military installations to help them become more energy efficient and provide research and development. We are always looking at opportunities and internships for our students to tie us back to the community. Another idea we have will be to focus on new product development, alternative energy and other ways for us to also help the farmers,” he said. “I wish we could start doing some of these things today.”

Robert Montgomery, energy manager, Moody Air Force Base, Valdosta, Ga., said his base is currently replacing lighting and motion sensors around the installation to save energy.

Lt. Col. John Platt, deputy garrison commander, Hunter Army Air Field, Ft. Stewart, Ga., said he attended the conference to learn what the other installations are doing because he will become the energy manager in July.

“We adjusted the water temperature, which has saved us money so far and will be putting our wood burner back into operation which will take us off some of the natural gas usage. We are also looking at using our nearby landfill to produce energy like what you are doing here and putting solar panels over the old landfills in order to recoup that cost and create a solar farm,” he said. “I learned a lot of things by being here and made a lot of good contacts that I can reach out to once we start our program.”

Eddie Hunt, installation energy manager, I & E, said, “By showing how each installation is progressing, MCLB Albany believes that the conference promotes a statewide energy team atmosphere among all military installations trying to achieve the mandated energy goals. All installations are aggressively pursuing several different technologies to achieve their goals.