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MCRD San Diego Celebrates Completion of Renewable Energy Photovoltaic Array

Navy News Service

Story Number: NNS120920-34

By Lee H. Saunders, Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego commanding general, along with officials from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest, Dynalectric Company, and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) participated in a ribbon cutting ceremony, Aug. 29, marking the completion of a 1.76 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) array that supplies 13 percent of MCRD's electricity with renewable energy.

NAVFAC Southwest awarded the $8.9 million energy project June 3, 2011 to Dynalectric San Diego. The photovoltaic (PV) array, or solar farm, was built on a site used to store recreational vehicles (RV). The solar farm came online, July 9, with a 30 year projected life. The array's 4,224 high efficiency 410 watt crystalline panels will generate 2,590 MWh annually. An annual electrical cost avoidance of $350,000 is projected to save $10 million during the 30 year projected life of the photovoltaic array. Annual CO2 emission avoidance is projected to save 1,900 tons.

"This project culminates a four year effort to install renewable energy systems aboard MCRD," said Richard Hatcher, MCRD energy manager. "Of the five installed systems, this is the largest and gives MCRD a combined 3.6MW of photovoltaic energy. While immediate energy savings are realized, MCRD has also protected itself from the continued rise in electrical costs for the next 25 years."

"NAVFAC, spent just under $9 million for this project," said Bob Riel, Dynalectric San Diego vice president. "However over the life of this solar field it will produce, in today's dollars, over 10 million dollars in savings back to the government while at the same time created local jobs during a time when San Diego's economy really needed it. I think everyone here would agree that this was a well conceived project and a model of good government spending."

The seven month design phase, five month construction phase of the 154,000 square foot PV array project was on time and on budget.

"The scope of this project is to supply renewable energy to MCRD," said Pete Whitney, NAVFAC Southwest construction manager for the MCRD photovoltaic project. "This was one of the smoothest projects I have been involved in."

The new 1.7MW solar farm combined with previously installed PV systems gives MCRD 3.6MW of connected renewable energy. It brings the Depot closer to the Secretary of the Navy's energy goal to provide half the power at Department of Navy (DoN) shore installations from alternative energy sources by 2020.

"In FY09, PV generation accounted for 1.4 percent of the Depot electrical usage," said Hatcher. "In FY12, PV generation has increased to 17 percent. We are projecting to offset electrical usage with self generated electricity by 24 percent in FY13. As the Depot energy program works to reduce usage in other areas - lighting, controls, awareness, etc. - this number will continue to increase toward our target goal of 30 percent."

The 388 acre Depot is the home of male recruits who reside west of the Mississippi and where they train to become Marines. It is also home to drill instructor school for sergeants, staff sergeants, and gunnery sergeants and recruiters school for non commissioned officers (NCOs) and staff NCOs.

The Depot can now say it is also home to the largest solar farm at a San Diego military facility.

"End result is the single largest solar power producing facility within metro San Diego area," said Dio Liu, NAVFAC Southwest design manager for this MCRD photovoltaic project.

The official party for the ceremony was represented by MCRD San Diego Commanding General Brig. Gen. Daniel D. Yoo, NAVFAC Southwest OICC MCIWEST Commanding Officer Capt. Marko Medved, Dynalectric San Diego Vice President Bob Riel, and San Diego Gas & Electric Federal Accounts Director Dave Guebert.

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