Naval Facilities Engineering Command

NAVFAC Southwest Successfully Transfers Power to Twentynine Palms Leatherneck Substation

01/23/14

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SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest successfully facilitated the transfer of electrical power for Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC) on Jan. 11 to operate off of the new Leatherneck Substation at Twentynine Palms, Calif.

Leatherneck Substation, designed and constructed by Southern California Edison (SCE), is an 84 megavolt ampere (MVA) substation with a 35 megawatt (MW) capacity and is fed from two separate 115 kilovolt (kV) subtransmission lines from two separate SCE substations. The redundancy in connections will provide sufficient and reliable power to MCAGCC for 20 years and beyond, will accommodate the projected increase in electrical load due to military construction projects, and will promote an increase in mission sustainability at Twentynine Palms.

"The Leatherneck project is needed because the existing electrical infrastructure serving the base is nearing full capacity and is insufficient to accommodate planned facility development and planned growth in the base's mission," said Rudy Quilon, NAVFAC Southwest project manager for this project. "In addition, the base had only one primary 33 kV sub transmission line providing 95 percent of all electrical power to the installation, and had no reliable secondary source. In the event of service disruption for any reason, the base's ability to sustain mission objectives would've been jeopardized."

SCE was awarded a total of $35.59 million for this design bid build contract. The design portion was awarded July 2009 and the project construction was awarded April 2011.

In order to connect the three Leatherneck Substation circuits to the base, a new switching station was provided by a $13 million contract awarded September 2010 to Hensel Phelps of San Diego.

"A tremendous milestone has been met," said Lt. Cmdr. James Stewart, MCAGCC Twentynine Palms public works officer. "We were able to successfully separate from the old Ocotillo switchyard, re-energize the three new 34.5 kV circuits between Leatherneck Substation and Ocotillo switching station, and were able to move all loads over to the new station."

MCAGCC Public Works (PW) and teams from NAVFAC Southwest including Resident Officer in Charge of Construction (ROICC) 29 Palms, Central Integrated Products Team (IPT), and Utilities Engineering Management (UEM) worked with SCE throughout the design and construction to ensure Leatherneck Substation would meet the requirements of the base and comply with environmental regulations.

MCAGCC PW and NAVFAC Southwest's ROICC and IPT also ensured the smooth energy transition to Leatherneck Substation with Hensel Phelps the contractor responsible for the construction of the new distribution lines within the installation.

"This is a huge milestone for MCAGCC and is the culmination of many years of effort by many across PW, ROICC/OICC, IPT, and UEM," said Cmdr. Yvonne R. Roberts, NAVFAC Southwest Central IPT assistant operations officer.

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