TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Johnson Controls Government Systems LLC announced that it has been awarded a contract for the third phase of a comprehensive energy and facility system upgrade at the Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) located here. Valued at approximately $51 million, the company says it is one of the largest energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) ever awarded by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Contracts office, which administers ESPCs for Navy and Marine Corps facilities. An ESPC allows a federal government agency to fund improvements from energy-related operating savings using performance guarantees.

It is estimated that the total program will save the base about $6.9 million each year over the contract’s 20-year term, for a total savings of $138 million. This phase will include construction and maintenance of three chiller plants, a photovoltaic plant, solar daylighting, and an energy management system.

According to Johnson Controls, the 1.1 MW photovoltaic plant will be one of the highest capacity non-utility solar power plants in the world. The plant’s photovoltaic cell array will require six to eight acres of land on the base. The array will be used to supplement electric capacity during peak load periods. It can supply approximately one-fifteenth of the base’s annual electricity requirements.

More than 15,000 military personnel and their families live at the MAGTFTC, which is located in the desert, 45 miles north of Palm Springs, Calif.

“These upgrades will make the living conditions for the Marines more comfortable and reliable. We’re at the end of the electrical distribution system, our power comes from Palm Springs and there are a lot of potential power disruptions before it gets to us,” said Lt. Cmdr. Rob Tye, head of the facilities management division at MAGTFTC. “With the solar plant we will be meeting the executive order for reducing energy use and utilizing renewable energy sources. Johnson Controls put together a complete package. We know what the energy savings are expected to be and have included means for verification.”

The contract covers a major air conditioning system upgrade, with three new chiller plants and associated distribution piping serving more than 30 buildings in the base and enlisted quarters. The plants will provide 3,000 tons of cooling and have a full build-out capacity of 5,700 tons to provide for anticipated growth on the site. The installation of lighting controls and skylights in a dozen warehouses on the base will help reduce on-peak energy demand, says the company.

Publication date: 02/24/2003