Noresco Lands 10-MW Microgrid Project for Air Force Base in Japan 

Jan. 21, 2020
Noresco, part of United Technologies Corp., has landed an $85.7 million guaranteed energy savings performance contract project at a US Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan, that includes a 10-MW miliary microgrid.

Noresco, part of United Technologies Corp., has landed an $85.7 million guaranteed energy savings performance contract project at a US Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan, that includes a 10-MW military microgrid.

The power generation assets will be part of an advanced microgrid that will allow the Kadena Air Base to more effectively sustain operations and meet critical mission requirements during utility outages, according to the Westborough, Mass.-based energy services company. The base hosts the Air Force’s largest combat wing.

The contract with DLA Energy, part of the Defense Logistics Agency, will generate more than $153 million in guaranteed cost savings over the performance period, Noresco said.

Besides the microgrid, the project includes a guaranteed savings of 1.2 billion gallon of water and the upgrade or replacement of nearly 200,000 light fixtures with state-of-the-art LEDs and lighting controls. 

Noresco expects the construction phase at the Kadena Air Base to take 34 months, according to Angie Vincoli, company spokeswoman.

Series of military microgrid projects

The project is the latest in a series of US military microgrid installations either already in operation or under construction.

For example, US Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) Parris Island, South Carolina has a 10-MW microgrid in operation, one designed to withstand storms and earthquakes. The $91 million project, which features energy efficiency and renewables, was built by Ameresco, which also is operating and maintaining the energy project under a 22-year performance savings agreement.

In San Diego, the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego operates a microgrid that was launched with $20 million from Congress. The microgrid includes numerous resources, among them 1.3 MW of solar PV, a 3.2 MW landfill gas project, a 6.45 MW diesel and natural gas plant, 1.6 MW HVAC demand response, 157 kW thermal energy storage, EV charging station control, 3 MW ff energy storage (microgrid system level), 390 kW building level energy storage (Lithium-ion and zinc flow batteries and vehicle-to-grid bi-directional hybrid vans), SCADA system upgrades, an advanced microgrid control system and an Energy and Water Operations Center (EWOC).

And on Cape Cod, Mass., the Otis Air National Guard Base project offers a model of how military microgrids can provide economic benefits to both the base and the regional grid. Otis is doing so by participating in a utility demand response program and providing frequency service to ISO New England, the regional grid operator.

Noresco holds multiple Air Force contracts

Since 1998, Noresco has been awarded 27 energy savings performance contract projects with the Air Force, according to the company.

Noresco, one of the largest U.S. energy services companies, uses design-build, performance-based contracting vehicles and asset monetization solutions to deliver energy and maintenance savings and infrastructure upgrades to existing facilities. Noresco has guaranteed more than $5 billion in energy and operating cost savings at more than 10,000 facilities in the United States and abroad, according to the company.

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About the Author

Ethan Howland


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