Air Force to Build Military Microgrid at Pearl Harbor

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The U.S. Air Force continues to show itself as a leader in distributed energy, this time with a military microgrid planned at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT) recently signed a $20 million agreement to develop the demonstration project.

The microgrid will be designed to strengthen energy resiliency for the 154th Wing of the Hawaii Air National Guard.

“The Air Force’s effort to develop a microgrid testbed in Hawaii will help ensure that the Air National Guard has access to the energy it needs to execute its defense and homeland security missions, while providing a proof of concept that alternative energy and microgrid technologies can support the Air Force’s broader energy security goals,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

AFRL has committed $3.2 million in initial funds to the project.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Air Force will develop the military microgrid  with electricity provided from an existing Air Force-HCATT hydrogen fuel cell source and other planned onsite renewable energy projects.

The microgrid demonstration project will directly support the 154th Wing of the Hawaii Air National Guard, including facilities for maintenance, readiness, and operations of the 199th Fighter Squadron.

The project is part of a significant commitment the military has already made  to renewable energy in Hawaii.

Governor David Ige said the agreement is “an acknowledgement that Hawaii is a natural testbed for the development of alternative fuels.”

Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy, added that the military microgrid and other energy projects at the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing “will provide crucial energy capabilities to assure the mission while efficiently using renewable energy sources and preserving limited natural resources.”

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About Elisa Wood

Elisa Wood is the chief editor of She has been writing about energy for more than three decades for top industry publications. Her work also has been picked up by CNN, the New York Times, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal Online and the Washington Post.


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