CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
Christine Harada, the chief sustainability officer for the White House, toured Camp Pendleton to review on-base energy production facilities, Dec. 29.
The base energy department led Harada through a proposed photovoltaic site at Box Canyon, which will convert sunlight into energy, and a hydrogen refueling station in order to obtain a firsthand account of Camp Pendleton’s energy initiatives.
“As the chief sustainability officer, I’m responsible for overseeing the sustainability initiatives within all Federal Agencies,” said Harada. “One of the things I wanted to do upon taking the role was to see what the federal government was doing candidly outside of Washington, D.C.”
Marine Corps Installations – West is developing both a photovoltaic site and a hydrogen refueling station to improve energy security and sustainability for the base.
“Energy security is a main goal of MCI-West, due to its importance to training, operations and national security. It’s important that we have a reliable and continuous source of energy,” said Bob Gilleskie, the regional energy manager here.
The 2.4 megawatt photovoltaic system at Box Canyon, will replace the energy previously supplied to the base by San Diego Gas & Electric, which is a mix of fossil and renewable energy generated locally or from outside the state.
The hydrogen refueling station is in line with the California Energy Commission's effort to establish a hydrogen infrastructure throughout the state. The station will be on Camp Pendleton property but will be outside the main gate and available to civilians for use.
“Development of the hydrogen infrastructure will promote the growth of fuel cell electric vehicles and the reduction of greenhouse gases, in accordance with both state and federal mandates,” said Gilleskie.
After the tour, Harada met with Brig. Gen. Edward Banta, Commanding General, MCI-West, and was briefed on other MCI-West resource and sustainability projects.
“Smart energy management and smart environmental stewardship are crucial,” said Harada. “Especially for the Department of Defense, how we manage our energy effectively and efficiently is key for mitigating risk for our troops out there.”