October 15, 2015 --
Lt. Gen. Michael G. Dana, deputy commandant, Marine Corps Installations and Logistics, visited Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Oct. 14. While here, he toured the installation and received briefs concerning energy and safe haven initiatives.
“We are well in step with the guidance you published,” Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, advised Dana concerning those areas.
During the safe haven brief, examples were given of numerous evacuations during severe weather events. Those efforts resulted in more than 10,000 people being evacuated here from different installations.
Carroll informed Dana safe haven efforts were not limited to military installations, but also include offering support to other government agencies.
“(Federal Emergency Management Agency) utilized the base parking lot to stage many of their tractor trailer trucks before dispatching them down to Florida,” Carroll said.
He noted the vehicles were sent to provide support during a recent storm.
After the safe haven brief was complete, Fred Broome, director, Installation and Environment Division, MCLB Albany, gave a brief concerning energy initiatives here.
He discussed simple efforts that yield savings such as replacing street lights on the base. The current bulbs in street lights on the installation use 66 watts. Broome compared it to a reading light in a lamp.
“In my home, I use a 75-watt light in my lamp, but we are powering street lights out here with less power,” Broome said, adding although the wattage is lower, the lighting is actually better than the previous lighting used.
He also discussed more complex efforts to save money. According to Broome, the base currently has an energy savings performance contract, which guarantees savings by decreasing the cost of power. He explained a company is selected and allowed to install its energy-saving technology on the base. The company is then paid using the money saved by using the new technology.
“If they do not deliver in a year whatever the guaranteed savings were in the front end, we do not pay them for that; they assume 100 percent of the risk, he said. “The bottom line is our bill will never be above what it was before the energy project.”
Broome said there is a yearly verification process performed by an agency not affiliated with the company as well as a review by base officials.
These and all other energy initiatives are paving the way for the installation to become net zero, meaning the base will produce as much renewable energy as it uses, he added.
“We will be off the grid by summer of (2017),” Broome said to describe the benchmark.
Dana sat and listened as Broome provided information.
“Wow,” he responded at the end of Broome’s presentation. “The (Secretary of the Navy) might pass out; he probably knows this already, but when I tell him you are going to be net zero by 2017 that is one of his major initiatives.”
Dana ended the session by advising officials, “You have got to be able to tell your story. You have got to pat yourself on the back, dance in the end zone and tell stories like this because this is awesome.”