Johnson Controls to develop $16 million cogeneration project at U.S. Marine base

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 30, 2002 — The Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command (MAGTFTC) at Twentynine Palms, Calif., has signed a $16.1 million contract with Johnson Controls, Inc. for installation and service of a seven-megawatt dual-fueled cogeneration system.

The cogeneration system will increase the base’s electric power reliability while reducing electricity purchases from the local utility by almost two-thirds, resulting in an annual cost savings of approximately $5.8 million.

The system’s natural gas-driven combustion turbine generates seven megawatts of electricity, then uses the heat from the combustion process to generate hot water. The hot water is essentially a useful free byproduct, which is used by the base’s absorption chillers in the summer to produce air conditioning and by its boilers for heating the base in winter. The project also involves installing new fiber optic communication cabling to connect the cogeneration plant with the Ocotillo Substation served by Southern California Edison, the electric utility serving the base.

The facilities management division at the base, located 45 miles north of Palm Springs, Calif., partnered with Johnson Controls through an Energy Savings Performance Contract administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center. Under the initial contract, Johnson Controls audited base buildings, developed a comprehensive plan, coordinated the project’s funding and guaranteed the performance of the system.

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 provide facilities, services, and support, responsive to the needs of tenant commands, Marines, Sailors and their families.

“Having a reliable power supply is key to the base’s success. Twentynine Palms is a round-the-clock operation, so it constantly needs to be powered up. Our team’s creative technical solutions are providing consistent energy as well as the service to ensure dependable operations,” said Robert L. Johnson, national sales director, Johnson Controls Government 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.

Hofeldt notes that the project was developed collaboratively, involving representatives from Johnson Controls, Southern California Edison, The Gas Company, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Navy Region Southwest, the Mojave Air Quality Management District and the MAGTFTC Twentynine Palms environmental team. All had input into the design and implementation of the project.

Johnson Controls, Inc. is a global provider of automotive systems and facility management and control. In the automotive market, it is a major supplier of seating and interior systems, and batteries. For nonresidential facilities, Johnson Controls provides building control systems and services, energy management and integrated facility management. Johnson Controls, founded in 1885, has headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis. Its sales for 2001 totaled $18.4 billion. Visit

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