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Summary:

Microgrids — essentially mini, self-contained power grids that often need independent power generation and storage — are of particular interest to the military. Military bases are largely in remote locations and have to be prepared for events that could potentially separate them from the greater power […]

29palmsMicrogrids — essentially mini, self-contained power grids that often need independent power generation and storage — are of particular interest to the military. Military bases are largely in remote locations and have to be prepared for events that could potentially separate them from the greater power grid. That’s why GE says it has snagged $2 million in stimulus funds from the Department of Defense to build a smart microgrid demo project at the world’s largest U.S. Marine Corps base, Twentynine Palms Base in Twentynine Palms, near Joshua Tree National Park in southern California.

GEmicrogridcontroller

For the Marine microgrid, GE will develop software and deploy its microgrid controllers to enable the base to more efficiently use local power generation, including renewable energy sources like solar, as well as maintain energy storage devices. The management system will also enable the microgrid to connect with and disconnect from the surrounding grid when necessary. John Kern, manager of GE’s Smart Grid Research Lab, said in a statement that the microgrid project “will serve as a model for other bases and it also will demonstrate how similar types of facilities, such as industrial complexes and universities, can take advantage of a smarter grid.”

Microgrids are interesting because they can offer a testbed for emerging technologies (GigaOM Pro, sub required) like various forms of energy storage and grid-connected renewable energy sources. But unlike GE’s other smart grid projects, the Marine microgrid won’t be using GE’s smart meters or home energy management systems to reduce individual’s energy consumption. The $2 million in federal funds also won’t be coming from the much-talked-about smart grid stimulus funds from the Department of Energy, but GE has accessed funds from the stimulus for the Department of Defenses’ Environmental Security Technology Certification Program.

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  1. DOD Turns to GE for Marine Corps Base Microgrid Project « SmartGrid Current Wednesday, July 8, 2009
  2. Reaganite Republican Saturday, July 11, 2009

    The Porkulus is a train-wreck… these jobs figures are far worse than the ones the White House warned us about if we DIDN’T pass the bill- so it was passed, and then unemployment soars anyway?

    Instead of creating jobs, interest rates were bumped up, the dollar slid… and it didn’t help anybody get any work. Much of this is due to the fact that Obama’s agenda has mortified almost every source of job-and-growth creation in the country.

    The Dear Leader couldn’t deliver the type of “temporary, targeted, and timely” bill that he promised repeatedly. Regardless of his image in the MSM, Obama simply lacks the the political stature to control Pelosi and Reid… who hit the trough hard, while bickering like children.

    And the lack of GOP co-conspirators exposed Obama politically… this legislation now looks to be a HUGE gamble. And when all this pork-n-welfare fails to generate any real economic gains, the Democrats face a bloodbath in 2010.

  3. GE Launches Its Own Energy Management Software, & Maui Smart Grid Tuesday, July 14, 2009

    [...] (MECO) to better manage the power load, and add on more distributed renewables like wind and solar. GE is working on a similar smart grid project a microgrid for the military that will enable a marine base to add more renewable power. [...]

  4. Why an Electromagnetic Threat Shouldn’t Be a Smart Grid Issue Monday, August 24, 2009

    [...] In addition, Bochman says, if an EMP event were targeted at a specific location, then a smarter power grid could actually isolate that section, contain the damage, or potentially connect to nearby distributed power sources. Power companies call this situation “islanding” and are building out various “microgrids” — independent power grids — to make the national power grid less vulnerable to geographic threats. GE is working on such technology for the military. [...]

  5. Microgrids: Building Blocks of the Smart Grid Wednesday, February 17, 2010

    [...] term “microgrid” may conjure up images of self-sufficient military bases and remote outposts, generating and consuming power without any connections to the larger [...]

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