This project aims to utilize a holistic design approach to investigate whether a combination of innovative technologies can bring down the otherwise high life cycle cost of <1MW sized microgrids at the National Guard sites. The innovative microgrid technology solutions at the following layers will be analyzed: a) Distributed energy resources (DER) level - i) a novel air conditioning technology with thermal energy storage. ii) a near zero emission generator technology. b) Building level – Control systems that will efficiently allow DER operations to improve energy utilization, load management and load coverage during outage, c) Community/Network (multiple building) level: Mobile energy storage and other controls that support DER aggregate operations and optimization for an entire campus and facility level. The objective of the design is to meet the energy assurance requirements specified by Department of Defense (DoD) at an affordable rate. Net life cycle cost will be valuated accounting all the cost components associated with the project commissioning, operation, and maintenance and the tangible benefits in cost value.
As part of this project, the collective industry expertise by the Project Team – Electric Power Research Institute, Blue Frontier, Clear Flame, Nomad, and Heila– will be leveraged in developing and testing a microgrid with the innovative DER and control technologies within a military installation. The microgrid design and technoeconomic analysis will be carried out for all three National Guard sites. The output of the analysis will include: a) an estimate of the DER size required for reliable and resilient operation at that site. b) stacked benefit estimate that the DERs can generate from additional revenue streams. c) net life-cycle cost of the microgrid considering varied operational and maintenance strategies and associated operations and maintenance (O&M) cost estimates. The results from the analysis will be compared with the baseline performance to yield the most appropriate system size, operational strategy, costs, and benefits of the project under the stacked benefit paradigm. This information will be used to develop a detailed system configuration, balance of plant, cost breakdown, microgrid operation, maintenance, and expected performance.
The core concept in this project is to demonstrate, through rigorous analytical studies that if a combination of new DERs assets along with legacy generation assets and building loads management can cost-effectively improve the resiliency at a DoD facility. The microgrid and the DER portfolio at all three layers – DER, building and network-level will be designed to meet the required 14-day outage coverage requirement at the three National Guard sites. Further, integrating technologies, and advanced control provides a cost-effective path for meeting the long duration (14-days) outage coverage requirement at the National Guard sites. The DER capacity required to serve mission-critical loads and the associated capital cost is lowered compared to the baseline diesel generator based microgrid solution. Further, the microgrid solutions can reduce the capital cost, construction and O&M cost. Moreover, the lessons learned in this demonstration will lead to a replicable approach that is applicable and help improve resiliency of multiple DoD sites.