Military Microgrid at Twentynine Palms Set to Undergo Expansion

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A 10-MW military microgrid in the California city Twentynine Palms is set to undergo a $7.8 million expansion as part of long-term plan to achieve energy independence.

Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center’s (MCAGCC) received a task order for the job in late September from Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC)

“This project is a great milestone for NAVFAC and the Marine Corps that will provide MCAGCC Twentynine Palms with the technologically advanced infrastructure it deserves, that will support their mission for many years to come,” said William Moreno, NAVFAC Southwest project manager.

MCAGCC will expand the microgrid throughout the base. Improvements also will allow the microgrid to continue operations without any disruption or downtime if the base loses power from local utility Southern California Edison. This will be done by providing full integration and automation of two combined heat and power (CHP) plants and all renewable energy systems.

Work will be done on conductors, circuit breakers, substations transformers, SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) monitoring and control infrastructure, fiber communication lines, relays, high voltage breakers and associated software programming, and ancillary built-in equipment.

Procal Electric, which is based in Twentynine Palms, will undertake the job under previously awarded contracts.

MCAGCC began its pursuit of energy independence in 2003 with the construction of its first CHP plant. The base built a second CHP plant in 2010 and has been modernizing its electrical infrastructure at MCAGCC Twentynine Palms over the last 10 years.

The base expects to complete the expansion by spring 2019.

Located on 998 square miles of in the Mojave Desert, the installation provides live fire arms training and facilities, services, and support to up to 25,000 civilian staff, military personnel, and their families.

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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.