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News | Dec. 19, 2016

Department of the Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, Arizona Public Service and Marine Corps Air Station Yuma celebrate completion of on base microgrid

By Kristen E. Tenery

The Department of the Navy (DON), U.S. Marine Corps (MC) and Arizona Public Service (APS) announced the completion of a 25 megawatt (MW) microgrid built on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma.

The completion was commemorated in a celebratory ribbon cutting ceremony today at MCAS Yuma, marking the start of commercial operations for the microgrid. In the event of a system-wide grid outage, the microgrid facility will provide enough backup power to cover 100 percent of current and projected base energy requirements. The microgrid will also be available to produce power to be sent to the grid, to benefit local APS customers.

Notable ceremony presenters and attendees included Maj. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow, commander of Marine Corps Installations Command; Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations West; Col. Ricardo Martinez, commanding officer, Marine Corps Air Station Yuma; Mr. Mark A. Schiavoni, executive vice president and chief operating officer, Arizona Public Service; and City of Yuma Mayor Douglas J. Nicholls.

"This project will make MCAS Yuma 100 percent resilient to external grid failures, and is an example of an effort that will ensure our bases remain at the forefront of the defense of the country. The microgrid will provide enough backup power to cover the entire base's current and projected energy requirements, ensuring no disruptions to the base's mission," said Broadmeadow.

APS will build, own, operate and maintain the microgrid facility at MCAS Yuma. In exchange for the use of DON land, APS will provide in-kind consideration in the form of backup power during grid outages, ensuring no interruptions to MCAS Yuma’s mission.

“Backup power is only one of a microgrid’s great benefits. They also are integral tools for providing our customers with reliable power when energy demand is at its highest. On a hot summer afternoon when Yuma customers are using the most power, we can draw energy from this microgrid,” said Schiavoni. “This helps avoid the expense of building additional infrastructure to meet the peak needs of customers in summer and provides reliable energy when we need it most.”

The Navy and Marine Corps have always been leaders in energy innovation, and deployment of resilient energy facilities on DON installations strengthens the DON’s warfighting capabilities. The DON will continue to explore and deploy the next level of energy technology advances such as battery storage, electrification, fuel cells and microgrids to further enhance the DON's energy security, operational capability, strategic flexibility and resource availability. 

Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Marines website.