Schneider Starts Building 10-MW Microgrid at Air Base in Japan

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Schneider Electric has started construction on a 10-MW microgrid project at a US Air Force base in Japan.

Air Force Base

By Samri/

The company is developing the project under a $403 million, 25-year energy savings performance contract that includes $167 million in implementation costs.

The project at the Yokota air base near Tokyo, funded through guaranteed energy savings, includes a combined heat and power plant with microgrid controls to support the base’s critical buildings while also improving the efficiency of more than 450 buildings, according to Schneider

Schneider said the project includes 19 conservation measures that will provide $20 million in average annual guaranteed energy savings.

The project will provide an alternate source of power to most of the base’s mission-related buildings, easing growing concerns about power reliability in the area and reducing utility costs, Schneider said.

The Air Force has become a leader within the Department of Defense in modernizing its bases to prevent power and systems interruptions from affecting national security, according to Schneider, one of the largest and most active microgrid companies.

Microgrid helps meet Air Force goals

The Air Force has strategic energy goals of improving resilience, optimizing demand and assuring supply at its facilities.

“Along with assuring mission readiness, this project is also playing a critical role in helping the Air Force reduce its carbon footprint and sustainability impact,” said Steve Wilhite, Schneider senior vice president of energy and sustainability services.

When the project is finished in about three years, Schneider expects the base will save about 30 million gallons of water, 80,000 MMBTU of natural gas and 75 million kWh annually.

The contract grew out of a 2017 request for proposals from energy service companies that focused on a desire for “concentrated reduction” in energy intensity and water use.

Fourth ESPC for Schneider in four years

Schneider has entered into four energy savings performance contract with the Air Force in the last four years.

The US military has increasingly been hiring energy service companies to develop microgrids to support facility resilience and provide renewable power.

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Last year, for example, Noresco won an $85.7 million ESPC project at a US Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan, that includes a 10-MW military microgrid.

United Technologies also landed an $83.1 million ESPC last year to expand a Navy microgrid at a submarine base in Groton, Connecticut.

Ameresco recently announced that it has begun work on a military energy project that includes a microgrid, this one, a $173 million endeavor at the Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Virginia.

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