Over the last several years, energy resilience has become one of the primary metrics the military services use to assess their installations. The new benchmark has emerged as installations face threats from a vulnerable commercial grid, extreme weather events and cyberattacks. A new report produced by ADC in partnership with Converge Strategies includes four examples of how installations have deployed a mix of distributed energy resources — including solar, wind, batteries and natural gas — in combination with a microgrid to enhance their energy resilience. The case studies provide a valuable introduction to the variety of avenues defense communities can pursue to support a local installation’s effort to become more energy resilient, as each of the four projects relies on either state or local investment, or significant participation by local authorities.
The four case studies in “Beyond the Fence Line: Strengthening Military Capabilities through Energy Resilience Partnerships” are:
- Naval Construction Battalion Center Gulfport, Miss., allowed Southern Co. to install a 4.29-megawatt PV system on 23 acres of base land in exchange for the utility constructing battery storage capacity that can be “islanded off” and powered by the solar array in case of a blackout.
- Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod developed a microgrid that can power the entire installation for 120 hours during outages using wind power, advanced battery technology and diesel generation. The microgrid was financed with $6 million in state resources through the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force and is expected to be fully operational in the first quarter of 2019.
- Naval Submarine Base New London, Conn., partnered with the state and local government to install two 3.7-megawatt natural gas fuel cells on land leased from the Navy. During power outages, the fuel cells and an accompanying microgrid will sustain base operations. The base was able to secure part of the funding from a statewide microgrid grant program.
- Marine Corps Air Station Miramar developed a microgrid that can power the entire base for up to three weeks using landfill gas, solar energy, storage, diesel generation and natural gas. The microgrid’s control system also allows the base to create additional cost savings by offsetting electricity purchases from the grid. The system was made possible through municipal partnerships and state funding programs managed through the California Energy Commission.
Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force