Local generation, energy storage, and distribution of energy is a strategic pillar for the Department of Defense (DoD). Advanced energy storage systems are now often being installed at DoD facilities as part of Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPC) and Utility Energy Service Contracts (UESC). However, the current adoption rate of building level energy storage systems into the local infrastructure at most strategic military and government sites is very low. Building level energy storage provides opportunities for resilience from electric utility outages and disturbances, increases power quality, and provides energy security to installation tenants to fulfill their mission while also producing bankable economic value through utility bill cost savings. Implementing these systems into the existing site’s infrastructure creates many challenges, and limited technology and industry expertise exist which can properly integrate them.
Paragon Robotics, with its partner Ameresco, seek to demonstrate the viability of in-building energy storage at DoD installations. Phase 1 will demonstrate advances in project design, guaranteed savings, and measurement and verification (M&V) planning methodology. Phase 2 will deliver microgrid control technology with a building level energy storage system at Tinker Air Force Base. The four primary objectives of the project are:
- Demonstrate the technical and economic effectiveness of a battery chemistry which can provide the durability necessary for daily cycling and is suitable for indoor installation.
- Demonstrate a cost-effective measurement and control system which can accurately measure real-time installation demand, and implement a novel predictive/reactive control methodology to include demand or capacity savings in the guaranteed savings calculation.
- Demonstrate cost-effective multi-building microgrid capability, allowing generation and storage assets to be shared across multiple buildings to accommodate changing mission requirements.
- Establish a repeatable framework for including building level energy storage within a UESC or ESPC performance contract, including repeatable guaranteed savings, M&V methodologies, and operations and maintenance funding. By demonstrating these objectives, the project team intends to provide a technology and methodology template for future DoD energy storage projects utilizing performance contracting.
The project team intends to build the demonstration components on top of the existing "micro-auctioning" microgrid control architecture which has been demonstrated on a FY16 ESTCP project. This project will demonstrate a low cost, long duration, modular zinc bromide flow battery suited for indoor use, as well as expanding the control technology beyond the single building scope to provide multi-building microgrid support for DoD applications.
The results of this project should pave the way for ESCOs to propose building level storage microgrids bundled with other energy conservation measures within larger energy savings performance contracts. By utilizing third party funding, the project team forecasts the number of viable resilience projects would increase many fold for DoD sites, allowing the branches to rapidly meet their energy resilience goals.