MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
A small group of environmental management and conservation experts are launching a website which may help the Combat Center be considered as the greenest installation in the Corps.
The installation’s success with the use of renewable energy, sustainability, improvements in energy efficiency, reduction of Greenhouse Gas emissions and enhanced procurement can seem counterintuitive in a place perceived to be a desolate desert outpost.
This is one of the misperceptions the Combat Center’s Green Council intends to correct with the launch of their Green Energy website at http://www.green29.org, said Eddie Valls, with Environmental Compliance Support staff member with the installation’s Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Division. The site will be dedicated to public outreach and education, or in other words, let the rest of the world in on the well kept secret of the Combat Center’s environmental success.
Although many know the Combat Center is where 90 percent of Marines train prior to going into combat, not many know it received two Secretary of the Navy environmental awards in March, or that the Combat Center was named the best Marine Corps installation in the world in its category, by the Secretary of Defense as part of the Commander in Chief’s Installation Excellence Awards in 2010 and 2011.
Few know the sprawling 800,000-acre installation produces most of its own energy, or that it is recognized by the Department of Defense and Secretary of the Navy as a leader in recycling, energy and waste management, utilities conservation, power generating capacity and cost savings. These initiatives save the government as much as $7 million annually in energy costs, according to the website.
The Combat Center is also home to the Corps’ largest co-generation plant, which converts waste heat from the electricity-generation process into hot water for heating and cooling aboard the installation. It currently generates 60 percent of its own energy year-round, and has reduced its energy impact on the southern California power and energy system.
It is also home to one of the largest federally-owned solar arrays.
Initiatives like these, not only make the environment safer and reduce costs, they help the warfighter. The more we save, the more we can provide to those who are preparing to fight for us, said Valls. “Ultimately, these efforts help ensure that the Combat Center will continue to train Marines in live-fire maneuvers and urban operations for years to come.”