Story by Curtis Hill on 08/29/2019By Curtis Hill, MCIWEST Energy Communication Specialist
August 27, 2019
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif - On Saturday morning, Aug. 24, 2019, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar conducted a successful test of the Automatic Throw Over (ATO) mechanism of their nearly complete microgrid project.
Most of the air station was without electricity for approximately three hours as the test was being conducted.
All of the mission essential facilities on the air station were powered by backup generators to ensure installation security and operations related to national defense were not disrupted.
"Our microgrid delivers capabilities that will make MCAS Miramar one of the most energy-forward defense installations in the nation," said Col. Charles B. Dockery, commanding officer, MCAS Miramar.
"Today's successful test of the grid highlighted our ability to operate and keep the air station running should our local power providers become unavailable."
The microgrid proposal was submitted as an Energy Conservation Investment Program (ECIP) project in 2014 and was awarded in 2016. The $20 million project is expected to be completed and on line by the end of calendar year 2019.
The microgrid will be controlled from the Energy and Water Operations Center (EWOC) and will utilize a combination of distributed energy resources to provide enough electricity to power all of the mission essential facilities on the air station in the event power from the external grid is interrupted.
The Microgrid Control System (MCS) in the EWOC provides normal, economic, test and island modes for the microgrid. Island mode is when the installation is receiving no electricity from outside and is completely powering itself meeting the energy resilience goal set forth by Marine Corps Installations Command.
Reliability and efficiency will be built into the microgrid by utilizing diverse methods of energy production including landfill gas power, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, clean diesel and natural gas generators and demand response.
The Utilities & Energy Management team at MCAS Miramar continue to take advantage of current and future technologies to ensure energy security giving the Marines of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing confidence the air station will be able to support their national defense mission during any natural or man-made power interruption.