Schneider, Black & Veatch demo resilient microgrid at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Schneider Electric

Schneider Electric and Black & Veatch jointly designed and constructed a microgrid for the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, in San Diego that has been proven to provide 100 percent capability – even in the event of power outages – across the facility’s more than 100 mission critical buildings, including its entire flight line.

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“This microgrid makes MCAS Miramar one of the most sustainable and energy secure facilities in the Department of Defense and plays a key role in helping California reach its clean energy goals.” said Mark Feasel, North American President of Smart Grids at Schneider Electric. “We’re excited to partner with industry leaders such as Black & Veatch and MCAS that share a similar objective to modernize our energy infrastructure and achieve cleaner energy, new efficiencies and cost savings.”

Performance details: MCAS Miramar conducted its first full-scale Energy Resilience Readiness Exercise to assess resilience and reliability of the microgrid system, and whether it could keep operations up and running at full operational loads. During a full-day simulated power outage, the microgrid system completely disconnected from the grid and all operations were successfully carried out throughout its critical buildings and flight line. Similarly, the microgrid performed as designed twice in the fall of 2020, as it dispatched in support of the local utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) when it was struggling to fulfill peak loads. During Public Safety Power Shutoffs in California, the operation of the Miramar microgrid allowed SDG&E to maintain electrical service to thousands of homes that would have otherwise been curtailed.

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In addition to the buildout of a new diesel and natural gas power plant, this project also includes construction of an advanced Energy and Water Operations Center (EWOC). The microgrid is operated directly out of the air station’s EWOC, where plant managers have direct visibility of the integrated microgrid control system, which utilizes Schneider Electric’s SCADA software and a certified network to connect field devices into the system. The applications that form the advanced microgrid control system, such as real-time monitoring and optimization, provide economic generation and load balance while maintaining system stability through load/frequency and voltage/VAR controls.

In 2016, Black & Veatch and Schneider Electric were selected to construct a microgrid at MCAS Miramar, bringing together an industry-leading portfolio of expertise, equipment and service to develop and operate a state-of-the-art microgrid. The system provides power to critical base loads, while cutting energy costs by using renewables and natural gas to lessen the base load, reduce energy demand and peak shave. In February 2019, Schneider Electric announced the expansion of the microgrid project at MCAS Miramar to further boost resilience. Supported by a $5 million California Energy Commission (CEC) Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) grant, the next phase of the project will add an energy storage system and integrate demand side management.

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