MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
The Combat Center is continuing to lead the Corps in the use of “green” or renewable technology with the unveiling of 982 new solar panels.
The Combat Center uses a cogeneration plant, which is a power station that generates both heat and electricity, to produce a majority of its own energy
The installation currently gets three percent of its energy from solar panels like those recently installed on buildings 1801-1805, and 1210. These are expected to produce 340,000 Kw of renewable energy per hour, said Garry Morrissett, Utilities & Energy Manager for the Combat Center. These panels will soon power the entire 1st Tank Battalion compound.
“It’s the greenest way to get energy. It is better [for the Combat Center],” said Navy Ensign Jonathan Kim, the assistant resident officer in charge of construction. Instillation officials the newly-installed solar panels are expensive but worth the investment. “They will save us about $61,000 a year.”
The panels are simple and very low maintenance, said Peter Mazzare, a project engineer for Naval Facilities Engineering Command. “All it takes is a cleaning with a pressure washer every once in a while.” Maintenance check-ups are also required about every six months, Mazzare said.
Utilities and energy personnel have plans to install more solar panels in the future. Combat Center energy officials don’t plan to stop there. Other natural, earth-friendly utilities, such as windmills, are also being tested, Mazzare said.
Morrissett said the Combat Center’s ultimate goal is to satisfy at least 50 percent of the installation’s power needs through renewable energy by 2025. The recently installed panels are just one more step on that journey.