In this 2011 file photo, from left, John Mahoney, senior vice president with Chevron Energy Solutions, then-Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany Commanding Officer Col. Terry Williams, Dougherty County Commission Chair Jeff Sinyard and Maj. Gen. James Kessler, former commanding general for Marine Corps Logistics Command, with the renewable landfill gas generator at the Marine base following its installation. The base was recently recognized by the EPA for its conservation efforts, primarily from the generator. (Albany Herald file photo)
MCLB-ALBANY — Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany was one of two federal facilities recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wednesday with the ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for its highly-efficient CHP systems, which increase the reliability of its electricity supply while reducing carbon pollution that causes climate change, officials from EPA and MCLB-Albany have announced.
The MCLB-Albany CHP system uses renewable landfill gas to produce energy that supports essential base operations, saving approximately $1.3 million annually in energy costs and reducing carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 1,200 homes.
“This project provides significant cost savings and energy security to the base in the event of a regional power outage,” said Fred Broome, director of the installation and environmental division at MCLB, in a statement following the announcement of the award. “It is also a vital part of MCLB-Albany’s ability to meet Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus’ energy goal of producing at least half the shore-based energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020.”
The other winner is the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C. The National Archives CHP system achieves an operating efficiency of 72 percent — higher than the efficiency of conventional production of electricity and thermal energy, which officials say can be less than 50 percent. The awards were announced at the GreenGov Dialogue on Energy Management sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality in Washington, D.C.
“Combined heat and power is a highly efficient way to produce energy,” said Janet McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the EPA Office of Air and Radiation. “These federal facilities are leading by example and using this technology to help reduce their carbon emissions and make federal dollars go further.”
CHP, also known as co-generation, simultaneously produces electricity and useful steam or hot water from a single heat source, using fuels such as natural gas or renewable landfill gas. By recovering and utilizing heat typically wasted by the conventional production of electricity, CHP helps federal facilities achieve goals to reduce carbon pollution and energy use, officials say.
Officials with the EPA say CHP is ideally suited for many federal facilities as it provides reliable electricity, heat and cooling for offices and other facilities, as well as protecting resources vulnerable to power outages. A Department of Energy assessment of the potential for CHP at federal facilities indicated that CHP could be used at hundreds of facilities, increase power reliability, reduce transmission congestion, save taxpayers more than $150 million annually and prevent carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 370,000 homes.
Established in 2001, the EPA’s CHP partnership program seeks to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the use of CHP. Officials say the partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and area governments and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new CHP projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits.