An Energy System for the Marines

Johnson Controls helps largest U. S. Marine base keep cool in the desert

February 5, 2002 (PD: 201402)

Marine Corps

The U. S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center insignia

On February 5, 2002, the Johnson Controls’ Briefing newsletter reported that the company had won a $16.1 million contract for installation and service of a cogeneration energy system at the largest U. S. Marine Base in the world located in Twentynine Palms, California.

According to the announcement, the cogeneration system would increase the electric power reliability at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) while reducing annual electricity costs by about $5.8 million.  The system’s natural gas-driven combustion turbine generates seven megawatts of electricity.  The heat produced in the combustion process is used to create hot water, which is used in the base’s HVAC systems.

“We have more than 10,000 Marines housed here in the desert with summer temperatures reaching more than 120 degrees, and we need a self-sufficient, reliable energy source to provide an environment that helps us fulfill our mission. The new cogeneration unit is an innovative way to meet both goals at a low cost – – and save energy at the same time,” said Wayne Hofeldt, MAGTFTC Twentynine Palms base energy manager.

There had been a Marine training center or base at Twentynine Palms since 1952 under various names until 2000, when the base was re-designated as the MAGTFTC.  The two-fold mission of the MAGTFTC is to operate the U. S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center to promote readiness of operating forces; and to provide facilities and services that are responsive to the needs of tenant commands, Marines, sailors, and their families.