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Net Zero Energy and Energy Security Measures Being Replicated Across the Military




  • U.S. DOE Federal Energy Management Program
  • U.S. DOE Integrated Deployment Program
  • U.S. DoD Energy Conservation Investment Program

Key Partners

  • Marine Corps Air Station Miramar
  • Naval Facilities Engineering Command


Sam Booth, 303-275-4625

A photo of a building with a United States Marine Corps seal behind solar panels.

Net zero energy is a concept of energy self-sufficiency based on minimized energy demand and use of local renewable energy resources. In conjunction with the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) partnered with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to develop a plan to reach net zero energy for the installation in 2010. This plan supports the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD's) goal to get 25% of its energy from renewables by 2025.

NREL helped Miramar analyze its energy consumption and examined options to reduce consumption through behavior change and investments in energy efficiency as well as opportunities generate and use on-site renewable energy. The analysis found a combination of energy measures that would cost effectively meet Miramar's net zero energy goals, including solar photovoltaics, solar water heating, landfill gas, and numerous energy efficiency measures.

Miramar has been successfully implementing these measures and has currently reduced building energy intensity by 44% and is powered by approximately 50% renewable electrical energy. One key project included a 3-megawatt (MW) landfill gas power purchase agreement. This project helps Miramar meet its net zero goals and the DoD meet its renewable energy goals.

In 2012 NREL conducted a microgrid assessment at Miramar to help increase energy security in the event of a grid outage. Utilizing NREL's CORE microgrid design process the team examined critical loads, developed detailed electrical systems and financial models, and conceptual microgrid designs. NREL then support Miramar in obtaining construction funding to build the largest and most advanced microgrid in the DoD, the project is currently in the procurement process.

With NREL's support, energy managers across DOD and other federal agencies are working to achieve net zero energy use, deploy renewable energy, and increase energy security.