US Navy Seek Ideas for Water and Energy Resilience on Islands off California

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The US Navy is seeking ideas to improve water and energy resilience for bases on two islands off the coast of California: San Clemente and San Nicolas.

energy resilience

By Song_about_summer/

The islands already use various distributed energy resources, including solar, wind and diesel generators. The request is not a solicitation for contracts, but seeks information to help the Navy determine strategy for the facilities, leading to possible future solicitations.

The Navy hopes to collaborate with private industry “to develop holistic energy and water solutions” on the islands, according to the white paper request.

San Clemente is home to Naval Base Coronado, and San Nicolas to the Naval Base Ventura County.

San Clemente is a 21‐mile island located in the Channel Islands, where the Navy operates various training and testing facilities. Potable water comes to the island via barge and the islands has its own wastewater treatment plant that produces recycled water for the island.

With a population of 524 people, San Clemente uses 8,700 MWh annually, with a daily peak demand of less than 2 MW. Electricity comes from four diesel generators, three wind turbines (225 kW each) and solar panels on some of the support buildings. On average, wind power accounts for 15% of San Clemente’s electricity.

San Nicolas is about 60 miles southwest of Point Mugu, within the 36,000 square mile Point Mugu Sea Range. The 13,370 acre island functions as a weapons testing and training area and produces potable water from a reverse osmosis (RO) plant.

To operate its generators and RO plant, the base relies heavily on fuel supplied by barges that sometimes are delayed because of bad weather.

Water and energy resilience examples

The Navy hopes to correct logistical constraints, rebuild old infrastructure, and improve the resilience and reliability for utilities on both islands.

The white paper request is purposely broad to encourage innovation, but offered examples of possible ideas for water and energy resilience:

  • Optimization and improvement of energy and water systems, including reliability, resiliency, and efficiency measures
  • Utility distribution and infrastructure, including electrical, water and wastewater
  • Additional systems and processes, including transportation, waste management
  • Utility commodity delivery and procurement
  • Use of energy services contracts, energy savings performance contracts, power purchase agreements, utilities privatization, utility service contracts
  • Innovative or unique contract acquisition or construction methods
  • Other transactional authorities, P3/P4 or community collaborations or shared benefit concepts
Navy contacts and deadline

White papers are due July 24, 2019. Submit questions and official responses to: Rea Estrella, [email protected]; Oksana Joye, [email protected]; Douglas Macurda, [email protected] Industry.

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To provide more information, the Navy will hold an industry day the week of June 19 at Naval Base Coronado.

Details are available at, Solicitation Number: N6247319RSCS3.

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


  1. Liberty Back says:

    For water, two thoughts come to mind. Desalination and/or a reservoir. There is unlimited ocean water at these sites. California does not have a physical water problem, only a political one. If the topography is right, a reservoir/dam could store water from rain, desalination and other possible sources. Therefore, the desal plant could operate intermittently for environmental purposes and also be the drinking water processing plant. The dam may even generate electricity. What a concept. Oh, I almost forgot, this is proven technology that has environmentally served humanity for over 100 years.