Microgrid to Support US Navy’s Mission-Critical Activity in Hawaii

The U.S. Department of the Navy (DON) last week agreed to lease land on Pacific Missile Range Facility—Barking Sands (PMRF) on Kauai Island, Hawaii, for the development of a microgrid that will supply local area power and support mission-critical base activities in the event of a power outage.

DON, Command Navy Installations Command, Naval Facilities Engineering Command and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) signed a lease to develop a 19.3-MW solar facility in conjunction with a 70-MWh battery system at PMRF.

KIUC said that, in exchange for the use of DON land, KIUC will provide an express feeder to connect PMRF to the power facility, which will allow PMRF to operate as a microgrid when necessary.

“This project at PMRF will provide energy security and resiliency that is critical to the base and to Kauai, especially the west side,” PMRF Commanding Officer Capt. Vinnie Johnson, said in a statement. “The energy generated and stored will provide a reliable source of backup power for our missions while also contributing to Kauai’s renewable energy portfolio.”

KIUC selected AES Distributed Energy to construct and operate the facility. According to KIUC, the majority of project costs will be covered by AES, which will sell energy to KIUC via a 25-year purchase power agreement priced at 10.85 cents per kWh.

Construction on the project is scheduled to begin later next year.

Lead image credit: BARKING SANDS, Kauai, Hawaii | Marion Doss | Flickr


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