US Military Microgrids Aim For 54.8MW Capacity By 2018

Author:Silvio Marcacci     Source:Clean Technica     Click:474     Publish time:2013/1/24 11:48:01

America’s Defense Department is the largest single global consumer of petroleum, and its military operations comprise the largest demand source for all forms of energy. In addition, bases located within the United States and abroad depend on aging transmission systems susceptible to cyber-terrorism and extreme weather.

So, what would happen if the US military shifted efforts away from transporting energy over long and insecure distances to establishing a network of independent microgrids that integrate distributed renewable generation, electric vehicles, and demand response at its bases?

The answer, according to a new Pike Research report, is 54.8 megawatts total capacity across all global installations by 2018 – in an average growth scenario – and perhaps the largest market force driving the world’s overall microgrid market.

Many bases have existing “vintage” microgrids based on fossil fuels, but a new strategic focus on incorporating renewable distributed energy generation (RDEG) is taking shape across all branches of the armed forces. Theoretically, these RDEG microgrids create the ultimate energy security through endless wind and solar electricity.

Pike’s analysis has identified over 40 U.S. military facilities with RDEG microgrids in operation, planned, under study, or in demonstration. In addition, up to 600 forward operating bases and countless tactical units could integrate microgrid systems. While the Marines show the fastest initial capacity growth, the Army has the greatest long-term potential due to its larger number of stationary bases.

The US military’s microgrid future demonstrates once more the simple fact that renewables and distributed generation aren’t just some hippie fallacy. They’re real-world solutions to our biggest energy challenges being pursued by the one entity tasked with creating the strongest possible America.


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