JTFB LOS ALAMITOS, Calif. – Commander Col. Andrew Baker and leaders of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Energy Resilience Project, Aug. 11, at Joint Forces Training Base Los Alamitos, California. The project was joint effort, involving the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy & Environment), California Military Department, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Bright Canyon Energy.
Corps support for the project was provided by the Department of Defense Real Estate, LA District. Senior realty specialist and project manager Walter Davis expedited construction work through easements on base.
“We worked to provide easements for the start of the project,” Davis said. “We provided an easement so Southern California Edison, Bright Canyon Energy and Frontier Cable could come in and do the work here. Then we provided three other easements for each one of them.”
The new micro grid will provide the base with 100 percent backup power during emergencies to support the Army and California National Guard’s mission on base and generate clean, renewable solar energy during normal operations. The project will include 26 megawatts of solar, a 20-40mw battery, 3mw of backup generators and a microgrid control system that can provide power to JFTB Los Alamitos for a minimum of two weeks during electrical grid outages.
Noting the importance of JTFB Los Alamitos’ mission to provide critical emergency support for California as the need for the project, Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, Adjutant General, California Military Department, added his thanks to the Corps in his remarks.
“Army Corps is crushing it as they always do, so thank you so much,” Beevers said.
The 100-acre project site is located in a remote section of the base directly adjacent to its airfield. The ribbon cutting was conducted under an opportune heavy cloud and marine layer that held off intense triple-digit temperatures of the current heat dome.
Completion of the project is an impressive milestone, said Rachel Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army Installations, Energy and Environment.
“It seems like just yesterday that we broke ground on this impressive energy resilience project,” Jacobson said. “And it’s really only a little more than a year ago, so Army Corps of Engineers, you really helped deliver this—thank you so much. I mean, that’s kind of lightning speed to go from breaking ground a year ago to celebrating this ribbon cutting today.”
Jacobson noted there existing microgrids that supply mission critical power to particular areas of the base, but this is the first project of its kind to provide a 14-day energy supply for the entire installation, making it a prototype that supports readiness. Additionally, the project will provide energy for San Diego Gas and Electric to make available for customer use through the California Edison energy transmission system. It supports the Army Climate Strategy goal to build a microgrid on every installation by 2035.
“It’s integrated with the community, it’s integrated with utilities,” Jacobson said. “Also, that’s what we should be doing, what we should strive for. We can’t just be islands. We have to make sure we’re fully integrated with resilience in the community as well.”
Energy resilient bases are a readiness multiplier, Jacobson added.
Deputy Undersecretary of the Army Mario Dias said the importance of the project impacts more than National Guard readiness in that the region is a “doorstep” to the Indo-Pacific area.
“There’s a lot of dialog and a lot of focus on what happens in the Indo-Pacific region—how we are postured, both in our active armed forces, in particular our Navy and Air Force partners and, increasingly, the Army’s role in the Pacific—it all starts right here. This is the doorstep of the Pacific,” Diaz said.
The primary mission of JFTB Los Alamitos is to provide a safe and up-to-Army standard training center, operational airfield, storage and repair facility for use by all branches of U.S. armed services, including active and reserve components in addition to other federal, state and city agencies.