Methane gas makes energy for Marines

Fossil fuels have become an energy source that many people depend on each day.

With a simple flip of a switch, about 20 percent of Marine Corps Logistics Base's power portfolio became 'green' and renewable. They have been able to lower the electric bill and save money for taxpayers.

MCLB-Albany is mandated to reduce 30 percent by 2015. According to Eddie Hunt, Base Energy Manager, they have "just crossed 30 percent last month so we are doing good."

The Landfill Gas to Energy project is a partnership between MCLBâ"Albany and Dougherty County to use methane gas generated naturally at the landfill to power a 1.9-megawatt combined heat and power generator at the Marine Base.

Methane at the landfill is drawn by a small vacuum to the hydration and compression station. The methane is then cleaned up and compressed and pumped to the generator on the base, through underground pipes, about 3.5 miles away.

The Jenbacher Generator runs on methane and natural gas. This green process also is dependent on a boiler system.

Eddie Hunt tells us that "the purpose of the boilers are to use the waste heat from the generator. While the generator is turning and making electricity, it's also producing heat; we take that heat and make steam from those boilers to use in processes on the base, like cleaning processes."

So how much energy is this actually saving?

A co-generation plant reduces greenhouse matter about 19,300 tons a year. This is equivalent to removing 16,000 cars from the road.

This initiative puts the base at the top of military installations in terms of implementation of federally mandated green energy requirements and will launch the base closer to its goal of being the military's premier green installation.

According to Eddie Hunt, "the goal is here is to get to net zero. The definition of net zero is to produce as much electricity as you use in a year, not to mean the meter is gonna stop at zero. Over a year, you make as much energy as you use. If we can reach that we will be ahead of the game. We are at about 36-38% at being net zero but we are working at projects that will get us there."

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