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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

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Assistant Secretary of the Navy witnesses base energy program firsthand

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | May 19, 2015


Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s energy initiatives have caught the attention of Department of Defense officials as it continues its quest to become the first “net zero” Marine Corps, installation in the DoD.

One official, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Dennis V. McGinn, Energy, Installations and Environment, visited the base to see MCLB Albany’s energy program firsthand, May 19.

McGinn, who was appointed to his current position, Sept. 3, 2013, oversees all Department of the Navy functions and programs related to installations, safety, energy and environment, according to website, www.secnav.navy.mil/donhr/About/Senior-Executives/Biographies/McGinn,%20D.pdf.

According to McGinn, it takes three things to make a difference in terms of energy security: technology, culture and partnership.

“I see all three very strongly here,” McGinn said. “(Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany has) a good technologically savvy workforce, a culture that is looking for ways to really value and save energy with energy efficiency and a culture that is looking for ways to create partnerships across the base as well as the private sector.

“I really think it is making a difference and that is why (MCLB) Albany is such an award winning installation,” he said.

McGinn described his visit to MCLB Albany as very comprehensive.

“(MCLB Albany has) all the areas that are key to my and Secretary of the Navy (Ray) Mabus’s priorities as far as energy and environment.”

Escorting the ASN during his daylong visit was Fred Broome, director, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany, who said he was blessed to be able to serve on the base’s team of energy experts, who are, in his opinion, leading the Marine Corps in significantly reducing energy usage and increasing renewable energy production.

“Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus wants half of the installations in the Navy and Marine Corps to be net zero by 2020,” Broome said. “Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany (are on pace to) achieve it by 2017.”

“We are not only going to be net zero, we are going to have excess,” Broome said. “In other words, when all the green initiative projects are complete, we are going to be producing more energy than we will use from renewable resources.”

McGinn received briefings on the base’s energy efficiency savings, its renewable energy portfolio and how MCLB Albany is generating energy from renewable sources to get to “net zero.”

He visited several sites including the ground source heat pump project; a borehole thermal energy storage system which is a state-of-the-art ground source heat pump system for heating and cooling Building 3700, the Marine Corps Logistics Command headquarters building.  

He was briefed on the landfill gas-to-energy project, the first-of-its-kind within the DON, which uses a 1.9 megawatt combined heat and power generator to recover methane gas from a neighboring landfill and converts it into energy and steam to help power Marine Depot Maintenance Command. A second generator is currently being installed, which will bring the plant’s total capacity up to 4.0 megawatts.

McGinn also toured the Procter and Gamble plant in Albany, Georgia. MCLB Albany is partnering with P&G through an energy savings performance contract with Constellation Energy to construct and operate a 7+ megawatt biomass steam-fed generator.

According to Broome, this project is estimated to be completed by summer 2017.  Excess electricity will be sold to Georgia Power in Albany, Georgia, for use elsewhere on the electric grid.

Broome and McGinn also discussed future green initiative projects for the base during his visit.

Robert Griffin of the SECNAV’s Renewable Energy Program Office accompanied the ASN on this trip and assisted MCLB Albany with this project.