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Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

MCAS Miramar Energy Program wins SecDef Environmental Award on Earth Day

By Curtis Hill | Marine Corps Air Station Miramar | April 29, 2019

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Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar was selected as the winner of the 2019 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Sustainability on a Non-Industrial Installation.

The announcement was made by the Department of Defense (DoD) on the day the world is celebrating the 49th Annual Earth Day. Although initially focused on the United States, since 1990, Earth Day has been celebrated worldwide.  The Secretary of Defense Environmental Awards have been in existence since 1962 and celebrate the exceptional commitment to protecting the environment while supporting the mission of the military.

According to the DoD New Release, the MCAS Miramar Environmental and Energy teams were recognized for the construction of an “installation-wide microgrid that provides 100% renewable energy and offers energy distribution capable of supporting over 100 mission-critical facilities for three weeks if disconnected from the grid.” This award recognizes monumental efforts by the team and their significant contributions have been noticed by the leadership aboard the air station.

"We're very proud of the hard work of the Miramar Environmental and Energy teams that led to this award,” said Maj. Stacey Colón, the director of MCAS Miramar Environmental Management Department. “This achievement represents two years of dedicated effort to reduce our use of resources and impacts to the environment while supporting the military mission, and demonstrates the stewardship and conservation culture we work to foster at Miramar every day."

In addition to the microgrid, the following major accomplishments were also recognized:

• The use of innovative technologies to reduce energy and water use.
• The negotiated Intergovernmental agreement between the air station and the City of San Diego to procure an additional 1.6 megawatts (MW) of landfill gas-generated power as part of the city’s Pure Water Program, resulting in Miramar’s total landfill gas-generated power to 4.8 MW, boosting renewable electricity to an unprecedented 75% of the installation’s energy demand.
• The application of chemical coatings to cooling tower components to prevent corrosion, contain and prevent leaks, and reduce annual maintenance requirements by approximately 50%.
• The equipping of six hybrid-electric passenger and cargo vans with vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. These vehicles are emission-free and function as large mobile, rechargeable batteries that balance energy loads by charging during off-peak times and sending power back to the grid when demand is high or there is a disruption of electricity supply.
• Implementation of utility expansion projects to convert a significant number of major irrigation sites to reclaimed water.

The judging panel for the awards is comprised of 58 volunteers with relevant expertise from across both federal and state governments, academia and industry.

MCAS Miramar will receive a trophy, a Secretary of Defense certificate of meritorious achievement, a personalized congratulatory letter, and an honorary American flag that is flown over the U.S. Capitol on Earth Day and over the Pentagon on Memorial Day.


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