Solar energy panels are now the means by which the 452nd Air Mobility Wing at March Air Reserve Base in southern California is going “green” and reducing energy consumption under funding provided through DOD’s Energy Conservation Investment Program. Air Force officials were on hand a few days ago for the ribbon cutting ceremony of March’s photovoltaic power generation system, which officials expect will save an estimated $220,000 each year. The Air Force is DOD’s largest energy consumer, predominantly for aviation fuel, so is investigating a variety of programs from the use of synthetic fuels to solar and wind energy production to reduce its energy bill. Southern California Edison account Manager for March, John King, presented Brig. Gen. James Melin, commander of the 452nd, with a rebate check for $1,446,000 that will be converted into a credit for the base’s electric utility account. Melin said the new photovoltaic plant “is just one step March Field is taking to ensure the availability of electric power for the base and the community that surrounds us.” The PV system at March is the largest installed to date on Air Force property.
The 14th Weather Squadron is taking on a new mission performed by no other unit in the military: predicting what the climate might look like 10 years from now, with calculations that include the effect of greenhouse gasses.