MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
Staying green while making Marines, the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego was recently awarded approximately $2.5 million by Headquarters Marine Corps as part of the 2012 Energy Investment Program.
The depot was given this money for additional energy saving upgrades such as replacing the chiller unit in the recruit classrooms, installing gray water recovery systems in some recruit laundry huts and roof top solar hot water heating systems in some recruit barracks.
The warehouses on base have had solar panels on them for two years to help the depot produce electricity. Currently reviewing stands are being constructed by the parade deck with solar panels on them to help produce even more electricity for the depot.
The facilities and maintenance team, along with tremendous support from previous commanding generals Salinas and Bailey, have been helping MCRD go green.
The EIP program is run by Headquarters Marine Corps to provide funding for energy reduction projects, said Richard Hatcher, energy manager, MCRD.
Every Marine base submits a list of projects annually; the projects are validated by Headquarters Marine Corps and funded per their discretion.
“While the energy we save on the grid is miniscule for the size of San Diego, any bit saved is helpful for them,” said Hatcher.
According to Hatcher the new air conditioning system to be put in building 626 features an oil free compressor. That compressor operates on a magnetic bearing system which reduces friction and increases efficiency. The new system is estimated to save approximately $60,000 for the depot.
Gray water recovery systems will be installed in buildings 651, 652, 653, 654 and 655. These systems will capture water from the washing machines, filter it, and use it for the next water cycle.
According to Hatcher some of the recruit barracks capture gray water from the showers and sinks to flush the urinals and toilets.
“The gray water recovery systems are expected to save approximately 1,660,000 gallons of water in each building annually,” said Hatcher.
Gray water is any wash water used in the home such as sinks, showers and laundry. Water with human feces is not considered gray water, but sewage or black water.
“Not just MCRD, but the entire Marine Corps – everyone should be energy efficient,” said Hatcher. “Just look at our dependency on foreign oil.”
Solar thermal hot water heating panels will be installed on the roofs of buildings 554, 584 and 585. The panels circulate cold water through collectors on the roof, preheating the water.
The heating panel process is expected to reduce the steam required to heat the water in each of these buildings by 50 percent, said Hatcher.
“Areas that support recruit training are the most energy intense on the depot because these buildings operate twenty-four-seven, year-round,” said Hatcher. “Projects that reduce energy in these areas have a greater affect on our base-wide energy use.”
According to Hatcher, the government had mandated a goal to reduce energy use by 30 percent over a ten-year period since 2003.
“The worst thing you want to see is families struggling to make ends meet, then you look over the fence and see the Marine Corps with lights on all day in a vacant building,” said Hatcher.