A $6 million grant from DOD’s Environmental Security Technology Certification Program is supporting the installation of a microgrid at Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass., to demonstrate the benefits of energy resilience and serve as a showcase for DOD.
The microgrid will integrate power generated from an existing wind turbine and a planned solar array now under construction, reported the 102nd Intelligence Wing. A high-capacity storage battery also will be connected to the microgrid, providing power at times when the turbine and array are not generating electricity. A backup generator will be incorporated into the microgrid as well. A control system will act as the brains of the project, automatically switching among energy sources to efficiently provide a stable power supply.
“With renewable energy you get many peaks and troughs,” said project manager Maj. Shawn Doyle. “There are times when it isn’t too windy or the sun isn’t shining quite enough — accommodating the variable renewable input is what the control system is for.”
When it is complete, the microgrid will allow the base to be self-sufficient, an achievement that will be met 100 percent using renewable energy. The project will reduce the Cape Cod base’s electricity costs while enhancing its sustainability, according to the story.