Honeywell to Install New Military Microgrid at Fort Bragg

June 19, 2014
Honeywell will install a $3.4 million military microgrid at Fort Bragg that achieves both energy efficiency and security in one stroke.The project will use advance controls to network new and existing backup generators for multiple buildings.This decreases overall energy use by requiring fewer generators to address energy interruptions.

Honeywell  will in one stroke tackle the problems of both energy efficiency and security with a new military microgrid at Fort Bragg.

The $3.4-million military microgrid will use advance controls to network new and existing backup generators for multiple buildings at the North Carolina Army base. It is the first application of this technology for a federal agency, according to Honeywell.

“Many organizations are forced to choose between improving efficiency or improving energy security. It’s been challenging to tackle both at once,” said Greg Bean, director of public works at Fort Bragg. “However, with this project we will be able to enhance the reliability of our current generation capacity, and utilize it in a far more cost- and energy-efficient way.”

Fort Bragg already uses emergency generators to ensure power for its mission-critical activities. The generators, however, are not usually shared between facilities. That means there’s no backup to the backup power if there is a failure or maintenance issue, Honewell says. Further, the equipment is often improperly sized, which wastes both energy and money.

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“Sites such as Fort Bragg present unique challenges due to the nature of their operations,” said Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions. “They can’t lose power, but at the same time, they may be using too much power. Honeywell’s expertise in managing energy supply and demand allows us to develop solutions that help address both issues.”

The military microgrid will use Honeywell’s Secured Network of Assured Power Enclaves, or SNAPE, to share emergency generation between multiple buildings. This decreases overall energy use by requiring fewer generators to address energy interruptions. Further, the military base will leverage its existing assets, helping reduce capital costs while bolstering security, according to Honeywell.

SNAPE, developed by Honeywell and PowerSecure, also allows the military microgrid to connect to the macrogrid, so that Fort Bragg can engage in automated demand response.

In addition, Honeywell will help Fort Bragg’s central plant reduce energy use. Along with Central Plant Optimization for Waste Energy Reduction (CPOWER) engineers, Honeywell will integrate predictive technology designed to cut consumption and costs by controlling the generation and distribution of cooling and heating energy and storage.

Construction for both projects is expected to be complete in early 2015.

The Department of Defense will finance the projects through two grants from the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program, which identifies and demonstrates innovative, cost-effective technologies that address the department’s energy and environmental requirements.

Honeywell has completed projects at more than 150 federal buildings and campuses, for agencies ranging from the DOD to the Postal Service. This includes developing and operating one of the largest, most complex microgrids in the U.S., a system that helps provide continuous electricity for the Food and Drug Administration headquarters in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Where else are military microgrids located in the United States? Tell our readers about them on our LinkedIn Group, Microgrid Knowledge. Or post a comment here.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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