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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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The Assistant Secretary of the Navy-Energy, Installations, Environment visits Pendleton

By Cpl. Brianna Christensen | | February 15, 2014

The Assistant Secretary of the Navy-Energy, Installations and Environment, Dennis V. McGinn, visited Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Feb. 13.

McGinn visited to view the energy projects on Camp Pendleton and speak about the energy goals for the future.

“The Secretary of the Navy, the commandant and the chain of command is focusing on energy,” said McGinn. “The key point is that we see things like energy technology, and we have partnerships with utility companies that are very important, but the thing that is going to make the biggest difference about how we become a more effective fighting force is culture change. Everybody up and down the chain of the command really has to understand that energy is essential to us as a nation and that we can do something about it no matter what kind of technology we have.”

The Marine Corps Installations-West energy goals include the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which requires 7.5 percent of all federal energy use to be renewable and to reduce energy use per square foot by 2.5 percent annually. It also includes the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires an increased reduction of energy use per square foot to 3 percent per year and 25 percent of the nation’s energy use to be renewable by 2025.

“Think about energy as ammunition,” said McGinn. “You don’t go out to the field and just indiscriminately fire, you are always mindful that the supply of bullets, bombs and missiles is limited. Energy is exactly the same way.”

During his visit, McGinn visited Box Canyon, which is a landfill that holds solar panels called Phase I photovoltaic Array and Phase II photovoltaic Array. Phase I was activated in October, 2010 and by Fiscal Year 2013 generated 2,448,108 kilowatt hours of electricity and saved $342,735 in electricity Costs. Phase II was activated in June 2013 and generated 780,407 kWh of electricity by the end of Fiscal Year 2013.

“There is no silver bullet of technology that is going to solve all of our energy concerns and challenges,” said McGinn. “There is, however, a silver buckshot; a little bit here and a little bit there is absolutely going to make a difference.”

He then visited the water reservoir at Lake O’Neill, the renovations at building H-100 and the Fallbrook Power Purchase Agreement.

 “If I leave you with nothing else, I want to leave you with an appreciation for how absolutely essential and inexplicably tied our mission readiness is to the kinds of energy we have and how we use it,” said McGinn.