MCB Camp Lejeune chooses Duke Energy to build $22 million military microgrid

Oct. 21, 2022
Duke Energy will design and build a $22 million dollar microgrid at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, the largest Marine Corps installation in the world.

Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Lejeune announced this week that Duke Energy will design and build a $22 million microgrid at the installation.

Located near Jacksonville, North Carolina, Camp Lejeune is home to the Marines’ 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, 2nd Marine Division and the 2nd Marine Logistics Group, among others.

Supporting critical operations

At 156,000 acres, Camp Lejeune is the largest Marine installation in the world and accounts for nearly 20% of Marine energy consumption.

The microgrid will be installed to support the critical education and training facilities at Camp Johnson, home to the Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools at MCB Camp Lejeune.

With funding coming from the Energy Resilience Conservation Investment Program, the microgrid will be built under a utility energy services contract (UESC).

“This UESC award is a major step towards furthering the reliability, resilience and efficiency of Camp Lejeune’s electrical infrastructure and on-site generation capabilities,” said Walter Ludwig, Marine Corps Installations Command public works director.

The microgrid will upgrade and integrate existing technology

The microgrid will include upgraded electrical and lighting infrastructure, 5 MW of on-site natural gas-fired generation and a 5.4-MW battery energy storage system. A microgrid controller will provide demand management, black start and islanding capability.

The base has an existing solar photovoltaic (PV) system that will also be integrated into the microgrid. Duke Energy will replace failed solar PV system inverters that are part of that system.

Officials said the project will reduce energy demand, consumption and costs. It will also significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions at the installation.

The military is all in with microgrids

The MCB Camp Lejeune microgrid, which is expected to be operational by March 2025, is just one of many microgrids being installed at military bases worldwide. Earlier this year, the Army announced it would build a microgrid at each of its bases worldwide by 2035. In May, the Navy and Marine Corps made similar commitments.

“The Marine Corps is investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure to position installations to prevent, recover and survive a prolonged loss of electrical service from weather and climate related events,” Ludwig said.

The Marine Corps currently has microgrid capabilities at five of its bases including Camp Pendleton‘s Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego. That microgrid helped California utility San Diego Gas & Electric avoid a power emergency earlier this summer.

Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, an Air Force, Army and Navy base in New Jersey, recently announced that Ameresco would be building a microgrid on the base that will integrate 32 MW of solar PV capacity, a 2-MW/4-MWh battery energy storage system and backup energy generation systems.

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.

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About the Author

Kathy Hitchens | Special Projects Editor

I work as a writer and special projects editor for Microgrid Knowledge. I have over 30 years of writing experience, working with a variety of companies in the renewable energy, electric vehicle and utility sector, as well as those in the entertainment, education, and financial industries. I have a BFA in Media Arts from the University of Arizona and a MBA from the University of Denver.

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