Air Force, Tech Center Partner to Build Microgrid at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam

The Air Force is partnering with the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT) to develop a microgrid demonstration project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam that will strengthen energy resiliency for the 154th Wing of the Hawaii Air National Guard. 

The Air Force Research Lab is supporting the $20 million cooperative agreement with an initial commitment of $3.2 million. Electricity for the microgrid testbed will come from an existing on-base Air Force-HCATT hydrogen fuel cell and other planned onsite renewable energy projects. The project will support the Air National Guard, including facilities that support the maintenance, readiness and operations of the 199th Fighter Squadron.

The hydrogen fuel component stems from an existing collaboration between the Air Force and HCATT that supports state goals. Earlier this year Hawaii lawmakers passed legislation designating the director of HCATT as the state hydrogen implementation coordinator, responsible for promoting the expansion of hydrogen-based energy in Hawaii.

“The Air Force’s effort to develop a microgrid testbed in Hawaii will help ensure that the Air National Guard has access to the energy it needs to execute its defense and homeland security missions, while providing a proof of concept that alternative energy and microgrid technologies can support the Air Force’s broader energy security goals,” Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz (D) said in a press release.

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