U.S. Military Bases Seek Energy Resilience Through Microgrids and More

Military base

A recent report published by the Association of Defense Communities outlines how the United States Department of Defense is improving energy reliability at domestic installations.

“Beyond the Fenceline: Strengthening Military Capabilities Through Energy Resilience Partnerships," was published in November. The report outlines the challenges and goals of the Defense Department related to energy reliability. It also highlights several examples of how those challenges are being met.

According to the report, reliability has become a critical issue for military installations that rely on the nation’s civilian electric grid. Aging infrastructure, extreme climate and attacks from hostile countries have created an imperative for the nation’s military to rethink the way it receives energy.

The report highlights several examples of how the military has worked with local communities to achieve meet that objective. For example, the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport, Miss., is leasing part of its land to host a 4.29-megawatt solar photovoltaic (PV) system that sells electricity to the local utility, Mississippi Power. In exchange for the lease, the project developer is building a microgrid that connects the PV with diesel generators and energy storage to power the base during blackouts. 

Otis Air National Guard Base in Cape Cod, Mass., has developed a microgrid that can power the entire installation for 120 hours during outages using wind power, advanced battery technology and diesel generation. 

The Naval Submarine Base in New London, Conn., is leasing part of its land to host a fuel cell project that will partially supply the power needs of the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative. In exchange for the lease, the base microgrid will receive power from the fuel cells during power disruptions.

The Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar near San Diego, Calif., developed a microgrid that can power the entire installation for three weeks using landfill gas, solar energy, storage, diesel generation, and natural gas.

About the Author

Rick Laezman

Freelance Writer

Rick Laezman is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer who has been covering renewable power for more than 10 years. He may be reached at richardlaezman@msn.com.

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