MCAS Miramar continues progress toward Energy Independence

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According to the Department of Defense, energy resilience is the ability to prepare for and recover from energy disruptions that impact mission assurance on military installations. Over the past several years, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, has come even closer to meeting this standard.

Col. Charles B. Dockery, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar, and MCAS Miramar's energy staff demonstrated the capabilities of the installation's energy projects to a group of visitors from the California Energy Commission, California Public Utility Commission and other interested organizations.

In its quest to become energy independent, MCAS Miramar has an array of existing and planned energy systems, to include: methane gas collection from the MCAS Miramar Landfill and its electrical plant; solar photovoltaic panels, which are used across the base; various generators; and battery storage. All of these systems, are in place to contribute to MCAS Miramar's energy independence from the city of San Diego enabling it to continue operations regardless of an energy shortage.

Marine Corps Installations Command's goal is for each installation to have the ability to conduct mission essential operations for a 14-day period, should the installation face a disruption of power or power degradation from an external power grid.

MCAS Miramar has nearly completed its microgrid system, which will be monitored and managed out of a newly-built Energy and Water Operations Center. The EWOC's recent completion also means the microgrid is ready to "go online."

Additionally, an Electric Program Investment Charge grant, provided by the California Energy Commission, gives MCAS Miramar the capability of storing energy at the Microgrid Power Plant, enabling the microgrid to save energy until it's needed and allow for increased use of renewable energy later on. This will reduce the amount of diesel fuel required to run the microgrid and provide further resilience by reducing the need for fossil fuels.

MCAS Miramar plans to conduct a resilience test in the near future by cutting itself off from San Diego Gas and Electric's energy feed and continuing airfield operations to ensure the installation is prepared to continue its national defense mission during natural or man-made contingency.


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