Naval Submarine Base New London will receive a $5 million microgrid from the state of Connecticut, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) announced last week. The investment is designed to enhance the installation’s energy security by allowing it to disconnect from the local utility grid during a power disruption and distribute power to critical missions such as homeported submarines. In the event of a community outage, the microgrid will divert power generated by fuel cells located on base that normally flows to the local grid. A municipal energy cooperative broke ground on a 7.4-megawatt fuel cell park at the installation earlier this year.
“A microgrid on the base will enhance our power diversification, our physical and energy security, and most certainly our community collaboration,” said Capt. Paul Whitescarver, the base’s commanding officer. Connecticut’s Office of Military Affairs first proposed a microgrid for the installation in 2010, but the technical complexity of the project and the need for senior Navy endorsement slowed the idea’s momentum, according to news release. The state grant is being paid out of a $40 million fund the General Assembly set aside in 2007 for infrastructure improvements at the installation. The state previously spent $1 million on early design and planning for the project, reported the Day.
Construction of the microgrid is expected to start next year.
Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Steven Hoskins