The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) is conducting a microgrid demonstration project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Hawaii to test whether the 154th Wing of the Hawaii Air National Guard can function independently of the power grid for extended periods of time.
AFRL will incorporate a number of energy-harvesting and storage technologies under the five-year, $20 million cooperative agreement, including hydrogen vehicles and equipment, waste energy usage, wind power harvesting and solar panels, reported the AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate. The effort builds upon a previous cooperative agreement that established advanced hydrogen production and hydrogen-powered vehicles and equipment at the base.
The laboratory is carrying out the demonstration in conjunction with the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies.
Installation of microgrid equipment and controls, and integration with existing solar panels and batteries is scheduled to begin next summer. AFRL personnel now are working with Burns and McDonnell to identify and quantify project requirements.
“This project will demonstrate the practicality of microgrids and renewable energy sources to provide energy security for military facilities across the Air Force,” said Kevin Spitzer, an AFRL program manager.
It also will benefit the state of Hawaii’s effort to explore new and more accessible forms of energy. Gov. David Ige (D) recently committed the state to a 100 percent renewable energy standard by 2045.
“Hawaii’s commitment to alternative energies made them the natural choice for a project like this,” Spitzer said. “Hawaii’s high fuel costs mean that for us, the return on investment is much quicker. Plus, their commitment to a greener standard makes them great partners in this effort.”