MCLB-Albany Achieves Net Zero Milestone with SEA’s Sustainable Engineering Expertise

Since 2015-16, the Department of Defense (DoD) has prioritized energy conservation and sustainability, aiming for Net Zero energy goals across its installations. Leading this charge, the Department of the Navy, including the Marine Corps (USMC), set ambitious targets, with the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany in Georgia emerging as a frontrunner in resilience and climate mitigation.

Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and fiscal constraints, MCLB Albany achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first DoD installation to attain Net Zero. To achieve this status, the base met the rigorous energy resilience and climate mitigation standards set by the DoD. This milestone signifies that over the course of 365 days, the base generated as much or more electricity than it consumed, marking a significant stride towards achieving energy resilience and promoting climate mitigation.

The project incorporates landfill gas generators and a biomass steam turbine, generating over 12.5 Megawatts of electricity annually, which surpasses the base’s energy needs across seasons. Additional upgrades, such as transformer replacements and lighting enhancements, further bolster energy efficiency, with estimated savings of nearly $4 million annually for the federal government.

In 2017, SEA joined the MCLB-Albany Net Zero effort at a pivotal juncture, contracted through the Marine Corps Installations Command (MCICOM) GF Energy Support Program, to provide energy engineering support and resource management (RM). As a reliable resource in other ongoing MCLB-Albany energy projects at the time, SEA seamlessly integrated into the Net Zero efforts due to its familiarity with procedures, documentation, and leadership. Having worked with MCLB-Albany for over 10 years, SEA played a crucial role in identifying and addressing underlying concerns that had previously slowed the implementation of MCLB-Albany’s energy generation architecture.

Over three years, SEA’s resource management efforts addressed critical technical challenges and significantly improved operational efficiency. This included resolving complex connectivity issues between landfill gas generators and the steam turbine, optimizing energy production levels, and successfully securing permits for electricity transfer agreements with Georgia Power. In 2019, MCLB-Albany received the SECNAV Energy Award for Small Installation, followed by the SECNAV Platinum Energy Award in 2020. SEA’s long-standing presence at the base provided crucial consistency over the course of MCLB-Albany’s energy program evolution.

The MCLB-Albany Net Zero program not only ensures substantial cost savings and energy security but also reinforces the base’s capability to maintain critical operations during emergencies. It’s projected to save the federal government nearly $100 million in energy costs over 25 years while benefiting Dougherty County through a methane gas purchase agreement.

For more insights into this groundbreaking achievement, watch the MCLB-Albany Net Zero video.

U.S. Marine Corps photo by Jennifer Parks/Released 201014-M-OG804-006.JPG