Because the Department of Defense (DoD) is the largest energy consumer in the U.S. government, the military is arming its bases to go green. The Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) in Miramar, CA, has volunteered to become a net-zero energy installation.
MCAS Miramar was selected by the DoD/DOE Net Zero Analysis Task Force as the initial prototype installation based on its strong history of energy advocacy and extensive track record of successful energy projects.
The project defines net zero as “a military installation that produces as much energy on-site from renewable energy generation or through the on-site use of renewable fuels as it consumes in its buildings, facilities, and fleet vehicles,” with the exception of tactical aviation fuel.
MCAS Miramar has already implemented a number of off-the-shelf technologies to reach this goal, including:
- Purchase electricity from landfill gas generation
- Install solar panels on building rooftops and carports
- Reclaim water for irrigation and plumbing
- Replace a portion of landscaping with synthetic turf
- Sign a PPA for the installment of combined heat and power (CHP) fuel cells
These efforts have led the station to create its own micro-grid system to further reduce its reliance on energy. The installation will continue to target net zero as it balances the goal against the need for public facilities and infrastructure and mission-specific energy requirements.