Among the green projects that has been developed in recent months at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany is the installation of a landfill gas generator that has been in operation little over a year. To the right of the generator in this Jan. 25, 2013 file photo is a concrete slab were a second unit is set to be installed sometime late this year. (Outlook 2013)
MCLB-ALBANY — Consistent with a mandate to go green, the focus in the coming months at Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany will be on projects allowing for energy-efficiency, as well as those to help ensure Marines deployed overseas are better protected.
In the last couple of years, there has been a focus in the U.S. Marine Corps on energy efficiency, which has been reflected through the installation of a landfill gas generator as well as solar panels on the base’s new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters — which have been providing for at least some of the electricity and hot water coming through the barracks.
“We are real close to providing all the hot water for the barracks,” said Mike Henderson, chief engineer for the installation’s public works department.
Officials say there is a total of $40 million slated for energy-efficiency projects this year. An overall listing of projects currently under way accounts for $22.7 million, many of which are a part of MCLB-Albany’s green initiative.
The list shows there is a geothermal system project costing $4.5 million, a maintenance depot craneway renovation costing $3.7 million and a Mock Road gate paving at $388,400 among the projects currently under way.
There have also been a number of projects completed to the tune of $32.7 million in the last 12 months, including $5 million in electrical substation replacements, road resurfacing for $2.5 million, additional vehicle storage lots at $700,000, a police station renovation at $1 million as well as traffic safety revisions and a sewer system study for $500,000 each, a listing provided by base officials shows.
Perhaps chief among the green projects set for this year is the installation of a second landfill gas generator.
The first generator, which has been in operation a little over a year, allows for a four-mile pipeline between the base and a nearby landfill for gas from the landfill to be converted to a renewable source of energy. Officials say it is a project that will result in an average savings of $1.1 million in energy costs, a figure that has since been verified.
The incoming 2.1-megawatt generator is costing roughly $4 million. It will continue to run for the time the other generator is down, allowing for continuous operation. A space is already set up next to the current unit, and it is expected to be installed near the end of this year, Henderson said.
Among the projects nearest completion is an oval-shaped test track roughly a mile in length and made from concrete 12 inches deep, which allows for vehicles being maintained at the production plant aboard the installation to be tested at speeds up to 55 miles per hour.
In late January, there were concrete trucks coming into MCLB every six minutes to lay out the track, which has a 100-foot safety barrier all the way around it. The project, costing about $4 million, is scheduled to be complete in about a month with a two-mile track planned for later on down the road, officials at the base say.
Along the same vein of projects to benefit the warfighters, expansion is expected to continue on the innovation lab based at the production plant — a subordinate entity of Marine Depot Maintenance Command — that is continuously looking into new ways to ensure the vehicles being shipped and used overseas are in a condition to protect the deployed Marines using them.
“We look at ways to protect the vehicles and keep them lightweight,” said Karl Johnson, facility manager for the production plant complex.
In the coming months, there is a laser prototype system and new automated machines expected to be brought into the lab, which adds on to the roughly $3 million that has been invested in the lab in the last couple of years, Johnson said.
In the meantime, there is underground work planned for the base’s refurbishment of its electrical, gas and water distribution system. The current system has been in place since the early 1950s, around the time MCLB-Albany was first established.
“We are now spending more to maintain it than we would to rebuild it,” Henderson said.
That is an endeavor which will cost roughly $70 million total, the chief engineer said.
In essence, the projects underway or on the drawing board are about building a better future for the base.
“We are refreshing a 60-year-old base for an additional 60 years of operations,” Henderson said.