Twentynine Palms -- Col. Jay Wylie, assistant chief of staff, G-4 Installation and Logistics, accepted the Exemplar Award on behalf of the Combat Center at the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District headquarters, September 25, 2017. The Exemplar Award recognizes exceptional businesses, agencies, organizations, educational institutions and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the prevention and/or control of air pollution within High Desert communities.
The Combat Center received the award for its devotion to the use of clean energy. The installation, which sprawls more than 704,000 acres, utilizes “green energy” to fulfill more than 60% of its electrical requirements in the summer and 95% in the winter.
The Combat Center’s accomplishments are due to its implementation of the largest on-site cogeneration plant in the area and one of the largest federally-owned solar arrays in existence. In addition, the installation boasts more than 54 smaller solar energy systems, which are installed on sunshades, rooftops and on the ground throughout the base.
The installation also implemented Operation Dim the Lights in 2008 in order to conserve energy and reduce its night-sky imprint. Since that time, more than 4,000 outdated light fixtures have been replaced. Due to these replacements and the addition of solar pathway lighting along jogging paths, Dim the Lights has amounted in approximately $600,000 in savings per year.
Another effort that the Combat Center has made toward green energy is its unique recycling program. The installation works to collect and process residential, commercial and combat waste. Each year, the installation collects over 1 million pounds of hazardous materials, with over 8,149 tons of solid waste being recycled. This generates more than $1.9 million annually, which is returned to the recycling program and used to educate the community on recycling.
The positive results of the Combat Centers efforts are evident. Over 89,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced from stationary and mobile sources, fugitive and process emissions and purchased electricity, which is a 6.4% reduction from 2008 emissions. In addition, the installation’s projects have resulted in more than $9 million in savings annually.
“The MDAQMD is proud to salute MCAGCC for protecting our freedom while simultaneously protecting the air breathed by the 550,000-plus residents of the Mojave Desert,” said Brad Poiriez, executive director, MDAQMD. “The Combat Center has taken exceptional steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and effectively reduce traditional energy uses on base.”