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Marine Corps Base Powered by Solar Energy
by Staff Writers
Escondido CA (SPX) Nov 24, 2011

The U.S. Marine Air Ground Command Center BEQ 9 project included a 706-space 4-story parking garage rooftop solar installation. Photo Credit: Project Architect - PGAL, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Baker Electric Solar has partnered with Blue Oak Energy to bring solar energy to the new Bachelor Enlisted Quarters (BEQs) complex at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) in Twentynine Palms, California.

Awarded by NAVFAC Southwest, developed by the Straub Martin-Harris Joint Venture and designed by Project Architect PGAL, LLC, Las Vegas, Nevada, the MCAGCC BEQ 9 project included three 4-story BEQs (576 two-person rooms), a landmark projection tower, 500-seat outdoor amphitheater and 706-space 4-story parking garage. Baker Electric Inc. and Baker Electric Solar served as subcontractors for all of the electrical and solar construction.

Blue Oak Energy completed and coordinated the design engineering for the solar integration. Registered LEED Platinum, the new complex almost achieved Net Zero Energy, with a 92% energy offset.

The MCAGCC 464,000 square feet solar project consisted of four separate solar array structures, featuring 4,680 SunPower E19/318 Solar Panels which generate on-site solar electric power. The photovoltaic installation reduces energy costs for the military base while providing premium shading for two parking areas, the amphitheater and recreational park.

Baker Electric Solar (BES) and Blue Oak Energy (BOE) partnered in the design / build of the 1.5 megawatt (MW) system. BES specified, procured and installed all of the wiring, solar equipment and controls. The construction firm coordinated multiple trades and added a second crew shift to ensure the installation was completed on time, just over two months from start to finish for the above ground installation.

Blue Oak Energy's engineered plans included all of the details required to obtain on-time permits and efficiently manage the construction process. To meet naval site-specific requirements, BOE designed custom hardware for the mounting of the solar panels. Employing 3-D modeling, BOE adapted the various solar array configurations throughout the site to preserve the architectural design.

"Blue Oak Energy enjoyed partnering with Baker Electric on this very unique NAVFAC project," said Tobin Booth, president and CEO of Blue Oak Energy. "The success of this job demonstrates the efficiency and creativity that results from a close collaboration between engineering and construction."

"Our pairing with Blue Oak Energy on the BEQ 9 Project was the perfect formula for completing the construction of the project as it was originally designed and on time," said Baker Electric Solar President, Ted Baker. "Our mutual commitment to renewable energy solutions made our collaboration all the easier."

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