by Staff Writers
El Paso TX (SPX) May 17, 2013
U.S. Army and Lockheed Martin officials commissioned the first U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) grid-tied microgrid integrating both renewable resources and energy storage during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Fort Bliss, Texas. The project was funded by the DoD's Environmental Security Technology Certification Program.
The Fort Bliss grid-tied microgrid is designed to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs while providing the capability to operate independent of the electric utility grid when needed to provide energy security.
Events leading up to today's commissioning occurred in phases that involved installing hardware, upgrading software, bridging traditional and renewable energy generation sources and ensuring the microgrid operates efficiently. The program now enters its demonstration phase, which is slated to continue through July.
"We are excited to lead the Army in energy efficiency. This microgrid supports Fort Bliss' Environmental Campaign Plan, aimed at reducing our carbon footprint. This cost-effective project will incorporate renewable energy sources, lowering our electric output," said Major Joe Buccino, Fort Bliss spokesperson.
"The tactical utility of this technology is its ability to allow us to operate off the grid. We are entering an age of emerging threats and cyber warfare. We are assuming an unacceptable measure of risk at fixed installations of extended power loss in the event of an attack on the fragile electric grid. This project represents the future of military energy security."
"The Fort Bliss microgrid will provide the DoD and other government and commercial organizations with the data and confidence necessary to transition microgrid technologies into wider scale use," said Jim Gribschaw, director of energy programs at Lockheed Martin.
"Microgrids are the key to an energy efficient and secure future for sites such as defense installations, hospitals, universities, commercial businesses and industrial sites."
In 2010, Lockheed Martin received the contract to demonstrate an Intelligent Microgrid at the U.S. Army's Brigade Combat Team complex at Fort Bliss.
The microgrid consists of onsite backup generation, a 120 kilowatt solar array, a 300 kilowatt energy storage system, utility grid interconnection and Lockheed Martin's Intelligent Microgrid Control System.
The energy storage system is especially critical in lowering cost and maintaining a steady stream of energy. The system also stores energy to respond to high periods of energy demand and to produce reliable power.
Lockheed Martin completed Integrated Smart BEAR Power System (ISBPS) and Hybrid Intelligent Power (HI Power) microgrid system contracts last year.
ISBPS equips the U.S. Air Force with lightweight, air-transportable microgrid assets to power a mobile air base. HI Power provides the U.S. Army an efficient, reliable and secure microgrid configuration to reduce fuel consumption at tactical operations centers.
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