Military Turns To Solar, Wind For Reliable Backup

“The SPIDERS approach has many applications beyond military uses. Our interest in SPIDERS extends to organizations, like hospitals, that are critical to our nation’s functionality, especially in times of emergency,” Merrill Smith, DOE program manager said in a statement.

Sandia will install the first SPIDERS microgrid at Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam in Honolulu, and will take advantage of several renewable power options already in place, including a 146-kilowatt (kW) photovoltaic solar power system, and up to 50 kW of wind power.

military microgrid renewables

image via SolarWorld

The second installation will take place at Fort Carson and will integrate existing solar power systems, several large diesel generators and electric vehicles. Large-scale electrical energy storage will also be used to ensure microgrid stability and to reduce the effects of PV variability on the system. Camp H.M. Smith will be the largest microgrid project and will use  solar and diesel generators to power the entire base, which will be its own self-sufficient 5 megawatt microgrid when the national grid is unavailable.

Integration and implementation are scheduled through 2014. The goal is to install the circuit level demonstration at Pearl Hickam and Fort Carson next year, with Camp Smith installed in 2013.

Kristy Hessman is a writer and native Oregonian who currently resides in California. Before starting her own company, she worked as a reporter covering business and politics for daily newspapers and The Associated Press.


  • Reply February 29, 2012


    Its really wonderful.

  • Reply March 1, 2012

    Mike Straub

    Tropical military posts could really benefit from Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion as well. Just imagine how much money and Navy would save by not shipping fossil fuels to far off, small places like Diego Garcia Island.  Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion could replace outdated, unreliable, filthy power plants, and power our military in tropical regions with endless clean power.  Plus, the byproduct of an OTEC system is clean drinking water.  Something the local economy could use to farm fish, food, or just bottle and sell worldwide.

    Other countries are already working on going commercial with OTEC, lots more news and info at The On Project.

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