The Department of Defense Installation Energy Test Bed sought demonstration projects of innovative solutions to reduce the time and cost of designing and implementing microgrids on military installations. ESTCP funded multiple projects to demonstrate and validate technologies and solutions that expedited the design, simplified component and system integration, and accommodated expansion while considering the conditions found on military installations and the expected business and financial constraints of developing and building a microgrid.
There was a need to demonstrate technologies that would allow for cost-effective and agile development of future microgrid solutions. Technologies and approaches were needed that could allow for development of microgrid capabilities that could be cost effectively expanded, networked, or modified as requirements and opportunity arise over time. Technologies that allowed for the following capabilities were of interest:
Demonstrations could be conducted on military installation, but most were expected to be conducted in a hardware-in-the loop test facility and lead to follow-on field demonstrations. Testing in these facilities would allow for comprehensive and more cost-effective evaluation of proposed technologies. Information on the available test facilities was provided to those proposers for which full proposals were requested.
Funded projects will appear below as project overviews are posted to the website.
The starting conditions for military microgrids are neither clean slates nor are they monolithic. Military installations have significant existing energy infrastructure investments in multiple legacy systems (generation assets, distribution systems, substations, load configurations, storage, metering etc.). These assets, and their energy security uses, also vary widely spatially and temporally. For example, critical loads are often dispersed across a base. They may be several critical loads grouped on one part of the base while others are a significant distance away and can be on a different portion of the base’s distribution system. In addition, the criticality of loads on a base can change over time as buildings host different missions as during a long duration outage when missions evolve and may move on or off a base.
It is anticipated that many microgrids will not be designed and built for an entire installation at one time due to financial ad regulatory constraints, business processes, and the needs of different installation tenants as well as partnerships outside the fence line. The cost of a microgrid can be significant and current business processes make it difficult to fully fund large comprehensive microgrid development. Microgrids are likely to be developed incrementally over time and modified once built to respond to changing conditions and requirements.