Objective

This project’s objectives are to improve resilience and surety of electric power for DoD bases, using a reconfigured microgrid, reduce costs and find revenue streams with existing equipment, and deploy renewable energy to reduce the environmental impact of base operations. 

Technology Description

This project will demonstrate a method for standard microgrid design and implementation at fixed military installations.  This method will produce effective microgrid designs, which can be quickly implemented using standard electric components that often already exist on bases.  The project will result in an operating microgrid at a critical DoD installation as a demonstration test bed for:

  • Reconfigured electrical distribution microgrid: Many bases could benefit from low-cost reconfiguration of electrical distribution systems that leverage all existing assets.  Reliability can be enhanced and onsite renewable generation assets can be more fully utilized.  The installation will be able to minimize the investment required to participate in a utility demand (DR) response programs and realize financial benefits.
  • Advanced inverter functionality: Newer inverters used for renewable sources and battery storage have features that can be used to remotely monitor and actively control energy. The inverters can be used for Volt-Amp-Reactive (VAR) support and cutting onsite power factor penalties.
  • Streamlined cyber security approach: Treating microgrid controllers like typical industrial control systems (ICS) being added to the IT infrastructure can allow use of a standardized approach to the specification of equipment and certification of systems.
  • Standardized battery energy storage system (BESS) sizing model: Right-sizing battery systems, to achieve the benefits above; require complex analysis and specialized knowledge.  The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) BESS will be expanded to calculate the optimized sizing for payback and savings-to-investment (SIR) ration to use storage to in the ancillary services market.

Benefits

The technology to be demonstrated is expected to have several benefits that are replicable for many DoD facilities.

  • More bases will be able to benefit from microgrid features by leveraging all existing assets like power plants, renewable energy sources, existing electrical distribution equipment, and solar firming energy storage systems.
  • More bases will receive financial payback by enabling ancillary service features using existing storage and generation systems.
  • The BESS modeling expansion will be available to help bases evaluate the benefits of, and correctly size, energy management systems.
  • The challenge and risks of achieving cyber security Authority to Operate (ATO) will be reduced through a fresh assessment and process streamling, as they apply to microgrid communications.