The objective of this project is to i) deploy and demonstrate a cyber-secure, renewable-intensive microgrid at an army base, and ii) produce an interoperable commercialization-ready control system, deployment concept, and rapid adoption roadmap. This project will demonstrate key microgrid capabilities; e.g., diverse Distributed Energy Resources (DER) integration, resiliency against natural disasters with ability for long-islanded operation (120+ consecutive hours with a minimum of 1 MW load and 2 MW/4 hours peak with almost zero diesel use), cost and emission reduction, fossil-fuel generation reduction, grid interaction (market participation, ancillary services, demand response), and enhanced power quality. The control system developed within this project can be deployed afterwards at other military sites and the software component will be available for all government entities; including DoD and DoE, free of charge.
Existing commercial microgrid controllers cannot interact directly with both building energy management systems and a diverse DER portfolio, including thermal storage and heat recovery technologies. They also do not have the forward-looking, analytical capability to optimally pursue strategies to reduce costs, maximize renewable utilization, operate in islanded mode for long periods, as required in this solicitation; or maximize revenue from ancillary services or market participation. In this project, besides making the required hardware/software upgrades to turn this system into a microgrid, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will lead deployment of a renewable-based microgrid control system at Fort Hunter Liggett (FHL). The control system has a multi-layer architecture, where control tasks are distributed among four layers (device level, network level, supervisory level, grid interactive level), with response times ranging from milliseconds to hours. Project innovative features include demonstration of advanced renewable-intensive microgrid control technology and methods to overcome implementation barriers. These features include lowering the cost of seamless islanding by using DoD-approved fast smart inverters and load desensitizing; image-based solar micro-forecasting; re-optimizing of dispatch; integrating the new control system with existing communication platforms; cyber-securing the control system; simplifying brownfield deployments, using of commercially available products; and integrating utility connectivity and market participation.
The project’s demonstration of a replicable microgrid control system will benefit DoD by showing that military installations can be turned into islandable, renewable-intensive microgrids that offer higher energy security and lower emission and cost, are able to achieve Net Zero Energy; and are capable of market participation. The initial analysis using the Distributed Energy Resources Customer Adoption Model (DER-CAM) and the NIST BLCCA process show very encouraging saving/investment relationship for the microgrid control system in FHL, with simple payback period of three years and savings to investment ratio of about 7 over a 20 year period. It is estimated that deployment of the proposed control system, in the presence of adequate DER hardware, in other military bases; will save the DoD $80M in annual operation costs, and will reduce annual CO2 emission by 740M pounds. The grid-connected features of the microgrid supervisory controller also received support from DoE funding. The final microgrid supervisory controller will be made available free of charge for all government facilities after this project.