The California Army National Guard is presently conducting an environmental assessment (EA) at Joint Forces Training Base (JFTB) in Los Alamitos to address potential effects associated with installing and operating a solar panel-based renewable energy generation facility (REGF) on the installation.
The proposed solar project – projected to begin in May or June 2018 – is part of the U.S. Army’s implementation of its Energy, Security and Sustainment (ES2) Strategy. A key component of that strategy is to provide secure sources of energy at strategically located installations across the country.
Once the REGF and microgrid are in operation, should the regional power grid go down for an extended period of time due to storm damage, a natural disaster or terrorist incident, the microgrid will operate independently and provide power to JFTB to support civilian and military emergency-response operations. At present, the installation must depend upon emergency generators and this lack of reliable energy severely hampers its ability to perform its mission.
JFTB is the only major military installation in the Los Angeles basin capable of supporting large-scale emergency-response operations. Accordingly, the installation was selected due to the critical importance of providing a secure energy source in support of the Guard’s mission to conduct long-term operations during federally or state-declared emergencies.
The EA is required under the provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 and will evaluate a number of issues related to possible adverse environmental effects to humans and the environment. Analysis will include land use; airspace; visual and aesthetic resources; air quality; noise; geology, topography, and soils; water resources; biological resources; cultural resources; socioeconomics; environmental justice; human health and safety; utilities and infrastructure; traffic and transportation; and hazardous and toxic substances.
Special attention has been given to potential glint/glare impact from solar panels to aircraft operations at Los Alamitos Army Airfield and to occupants of residences bordering JFTB.
Once the EA is completed, it will be available for public view and comment. JFTB and Guard leadership will keep the public informed as to when the report is scheduled to be released.
For additional information, contact Col. (CA) Richard Lalor at 562.795.2096 (office), (626) 733-1170 (mobile) or via email at [email protected]
This article was released by the Joint Forces Training Base.