MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune is leading the way in renewable energy, not just in the military, but throughout the United States.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held aboard Camp Johnson, March 23, to commemorate yet another energy initiative; photo-voltaic solar panels.
Converting the sun’s energy into useable electricity, the photo-voltaic panels will be installed at the newly constructed barracks as well as those still under construction, among other locations, on Camp Lejeune and Camp Johnson.
Broken into three phases, the $37.9 million program is expected to save the base more than a half million dollars a year.
Phase one is currently underway at the Courthouse Bay and Hadnot Point bachelor enlisted quarters. Phase two, expected to begin in August, will include construction at Camp Johnson’s front gate and the Wounded Warriors barracks and phase three will add the panels to Camp Lejeune’s main gate and the French Creek BEQ landfill site.
In addition to providing energy to the newly constructed barracks the solar panels will also be utilized as canopies and provide shade to service member’s vehicles. The only exceptions to this would be the Camp Johnson and Camp Lejeune solar panels which will be ground mounted.
“All the PV panels will provide 100 percent of the energy to the newly constructed BEQs,” said Ensign David Dreyer, the project manager with the Officer In Charge of Construction, Marine Corps Installations East. “The PV panels that will be near the main gate, however, will become an energy farm.”
Officials from the URS Corporation, the government contractor that was awarded the PV panel construction contract maintained a positive outlook on the project and expects the project to be completed before the summer of next year.
“We expect the project to be finished by May of 2012,” said Kay Lantrip, vice president and the project executive with URS Corporation, the government contractor that was awarded the PV panel construction contract. “Camp Lejeune is leading the way with this and being an example that the private sector can follow.”
In addition to the potential amount of money that these panels are expected to save, unspent money elsewhere was applied to the more than 22,000 panels being installed.
“The bid savings from each specific project was used to buy renewable energy to be applied towards that facility,” said Peter McWilliams, the facilities planning engineer with Installations Development Division, Installations and Environment Department, MCB Camp Lejeune. “This is the result of contractors bidding lower in the current economic climate. We were tasked by HQMC with allocating available funds into the renewable energy to offset the future energy the facilities would use, consistent with current energy goals.”
It is estimated that a total of 5.37 megawatts of energy, roughly equivalent to 5,370 kilowatts will be generated per hour. Overall, Camp Lejeune will have saved more than $582,000 annually.
“The secretary of the Navy is ensuring that the Navy is going green and the commandant is also having the Marine Corps go green,” said Col. Daniel Lecce, commanding officer for Camp Lejeune. “This is a great step in that direction and is a visible example that Camp Lejeune is going green.”
Camp Lejeune is taking great steps toward going green and the new photo-voltaic panels is one of many visible examples that the base is reaching their green goal.