New Jersey military base to install microgrid as part of $140 million energy project

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Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), an Air Force, Army and Navy base in New Jersey, is doubling down on its resilience efforts by incorporating a microgrid as part of a multifaceted, multiyear energy upgrade.

JBMDL

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Air Show. By Alan Budman/Shutterstock.com

The Defense Logistics Agency and JBMDL recently announced that it has awarded Ameresco a $92 million project to update mission-critical infrastructure at the joint base. This is the second phase of a project initiated in 2021; in total, JBMDL is investing $140 million in the resilience and energy efficiency project.

JBMDL strives for energy resilience and efficiency

Phase one of the project focused on on-site solar generation. This second phase includes construction of a microgrid that will integrate 32 MW of solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity, a 2-MW/4-MWh battery energy storage system and backup energy generation systems.

This will be one of the largest federal solar PV installations by Ameresco, and phase 2 construction is expected to be completed in early 2025.

In addition to ensuring the base has uninterrupted power for its critical operations, Ameresco will be aiding in JBMDL’s efforts around the federal government’s new Climate Smart Building Initiative. The program is intended to reduce emissions and accelerate the clean energy transition by leveraging public-private partnerships to modernize federal buildings.

Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president of Federal Solutions at Ameresco, said, “We’re eager to get started on the integration of advanced clean technologies to create a more resilient and sustainable energy future for the base and deliver a project that meets the installation’s mission requirements while also advancing the Climate Smart Building Initiative.”

The contract calls for retrofitting more than 90,000 light fixtures with LEDs, wireless street lighting controls and advanced interior lighting controls. These conservation measures are expected to reduce JBMDL’s energy consumption by 22% and lower the base’s energy costs by more than $4.7 million per year.

JBMDL and Ameresco have a long history

Ameresco and JBMDL’s partnership began more than a decade ago when the company completed the first energy savings performance contract at the base. Ameresco has supported the operations and maintenance of that system ever since.

Located near Trenton, New Jersey, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is the only US base to serve three branches of the military and is home to the US Air Force’s 621st Contingency Response Wing and 305th Air Mobility Wing, the US Coast Guard’s Atlantic Strike Team and the US Army’s 2nd Brigade, 75th Division, among others.

Military projects continue to dominate the news

The announcement of the microgrid and energy savings initiatives at JBMDL is just one of many recent headlines for military microgrids. In late August, the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico announced that Ameresco would be installing a microgrid to support its critical water infrastructure. Earlier that month, the microgrid at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar helped California utility San Diego Gas & Electric avoid a power emergency.

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