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Secretary of the Navy awards contract to provide MCI-West bases with solar energy

By Cpl. Shaltiel Dominguez | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | August 21, 2015

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The Secretary of the Navy signed a renewable energy contract contributing to Marine Corps Installations – West’s efforts to increase energy security and efficiency on base, Aug 20.

The new contract complemented MCI-West’s drive to provide renewable energy sources, such as the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Landfill Gas Plant, Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow Wind Turbines and the use of solar panels to generate energy both in garrison and in a tactical environment.

“The contract provides us with an alternative, cost-effective renewable power generation source which contributes to energy security,” said Robert Gilleskie, regional energy manager, MCI-West. “Energy security is important because it ensures that Marines have the power they need to train and execute their missions.”

The Secretary of the Navy awarded the contract to the Sempra Energy Company, as facilitated by the Western Area Power Administration and California Public Utilities Commission. The contract will provide approximately 150 Megawatts AC of solar power to Department of Navy installations beginning December 2016.

“It was part of President Obama’s One Gigawatt initiative, where he committed each of the services to developing sources that can provide One Gigawatt of renewable energy,” said Gilleskie. “We’ve met those goals and the 150 Megawatts this contract provides is a large chunk of it.”

According to the deal, the Sempra solar power panels in Arizona will provide energy to MCAS Miramar, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and MCLB Barstow.

“When you think of Marines, you probably don't think of art and environmental, but they've been at the forefront for years changing energy,” said the Honorably Secretary of the Navy Ray Maybus. “Changing the way we get it and the way we use it."

This long-term power purchase agreement, which was the largest renewable energy purchase by a federal agency, enabled the Western Area Power Administration to purchase energy from Sempra for 25 years at a fixed rate.

According to Bob Griffin, executive director, Department of Navy Renewable Energy Program Office, current market conditions are ripe for the deal. Module costs for power sources have flattened out, project debt has become cheaper, and regulations require an increased production of energy from renewable sources in California.


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