An energy conservation and distributed generation project will enable the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) in Albany, GA to become the Navy’s first Net Zero Energy base. The project, which will reduce energy use, increase energy security, and meet energy demands from renewable sources, is taking place thanks to a $170 million, 23-year energy savings performance contract from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) to Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation.
The project includes the installation of an 8.5-megawatt biomass-fueled, steam-to-electricity (STE) generator, high-efficiency transformers, lighting and boiler upgrades, as well as system controls for a landfill gas electricity generator and centralized monitoring and operation of electricity generation and distribution for the base.
With the added generation and conservation measures, MCLB Albany officials estimate it will reduce the total annual electrical consumption by 15 percent (7,200 megawatt-hours) annually. This means the base will achieve “Net Zero” status as it will be an energy-efficient installation where the annual energy demand will be fully met by renewable energy produced on site.
“We look forward to continuing our efforts to conserve energy while preserving the mission effectiveness of our installation whose focus of effort is the warfighter,” said MCLB Albany’s Commanding Officer Col. James C. Carroll III. “We are always searching for additional opportunities to become the Marine Corps’ as well as the Department of the Navy’s ‘best in class’ installation.
“Once completed, we expect to be the first Net Zero-energy installation within the Department of the Navy (DON), which will be a significant national achievement and point of pride for our community,” added Carroll.
MCLB Albany’s newest energy project is the result of nearly five years of planning and collaboration among the Marine Corps, NAVFAC, Procter & Gamble (P&G), Constellation, Georgia Power, the Georgia Public Service Commission, and the Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority. The logistics base is comprised of 3,600 acres, nearly 400 facilities and Marine Corps-owned and operated utility systems, to include 61 miles of electrical distribution, 19 miles of natural gas distribution, 87 miles of storm water, waste water and potable water lines.
Key to the project’s success is the availability of renewable energy steam supply to power the STE generator plant. MCLB Albany will purchase steam from a 50-megawatt biomass plant located at P&G’s neighboring facility. In 2015, P&G contracted with Constellation to build, own, and operate the cogeneration plant which will supply 100 percent of the steam for P&G’s paper manufacturing facility and generate electricity for the local utility, Georgia Power.
“Constellation is proud to support the U.S. Marine Corps’ energy and environmental goals and MCLB Albany’s efforts toward achieving net-zero energy use,” said Constellation Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy, Gary Fromer. “This is a public-private collaborative effort that will improve energy security and sustainability for MCLB Albany and P&G, while providing significant cost savings through energy intensity reductions and increasing the use of renewable energy in this community.”
Rick McLeod, Vice President for P&G Product Supply, Global Family Care, added, “P&G originally partnered with Constellation and Georgia Power to help increase the amount of renewable energy used in manufacturing Bounty and Charmin. The onsite bio-mass facility will utilize locally abundant waste wood to produce 100 percent of the steam needed for one of P&G’s largest global facilities. We welcome the opportunity to share additional renewable steam with our neighbor, helping MCLB Albany become the first Marine Corps installation to reach Net Zero.”
In 2009, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus issued five aggressive goals aimed at transforming the DON’s energy use, including increasing Alternative Energy Ashore by 2020. The DON will produce at least 50 percent of shore-based energy requirements from alternative sources, with a goal of having 50 percent of Navy and Marine Corps installations Net Zero.
Previous MCLB Albany energy projects include a 1.9-megawatt landfill gas-to-energy generator, light-emitting diode (LED) street lighting, solar arrays, and a solar hot water heating system. One of the base’s largest projects has been the replacement of the conventional chiller, cooling tower and boiler HVAC system for the Marine Corps Logistics Command headquarters building and installation of the nation’s first underground borehole thermal energy storage systems.
DCO Energy, LLC will provide engineering, procurement and construction services to Constellation for the MCLB Albany project. Schneider Electric will supply and install system controls. Construction is scheduled for completion in 2018.