The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) supports the U.S. Department of Defense's (DoD) mission to reduce energy costs, decrease reliance on foreign oil, ensure energy security, and achieve sustainability goals. As the only national laboratory solely dedicated to renewable energy, energy efficiency, and grid integration, NREL's capabilities support energy innovation in operational and installation environments.
Find out how NREL is positioned to help DoD accelerate the implementation of its clean energy initiatives, reduce costs, minimize risks in the field, and attain energy security in the program areas below.
For more information, contact any of the program leads listed below or Stephen Gorin, NREL's Director of DoD Energy Programs.
NREL is working with DoD to implement technology demonstrations at DoD test beds and has developed strong partnerships with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military services. We work closely with DoD to identify, demonstrate, and validate energy technologies that can be replicated to promote DoD-wide impact.
In addition, NREL leverages longstanding partnerships and cultivates new relationships with industrial partners that can provide prototype manufacturing as well as pathways to the market. NREL will also collaborate with DoD installations, planned or existing DoD test beds, other national laboratories, and universities to demonstrate new or leading-edge technologies that can assist DoD in meeting energy goals.
Contact Jeff Dominick for more on NREL and DoD's technology demonstration collaborations.
With a focus on implementation, NREL is assisting DoD to develop projects that quickly achieve "iron in the ground" results at the building, installation, and regional levels.
NREL leads the drive to accelerate broad market adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies to meet local and regional needs and advance national energy goals. NREL increasingly focuses on putting decades of energy innovation into action.
With a goal of energy surety of DoD's power assets, NREL offers the breadth of technical knowledge and technologies to enable design, integration, and reliable operation of the energy system in many scenarios. NREL has solutions to address DoD's increasingly complex and evolving systems integration challenge.
In the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF), NREL will work with DoD to simulate grid infrastructure, hardware, and process-controls at a scale that replicates the needs at installations and forward operating bases. The ESIF will be an asset to DoD by reducing the technical risks for large-scale projects, highly-customized energy solutions, and prototype development of advanced energy systems.
The ESIF will be the first facility in the United States with the capacity to conduct integrated megawatt-scale simulations and hardware-in-the-loop testing. ESIF will help to safely move renewable energy technologies onto the electric grid "in-flight" at the speed and scale required to meet national goals.
Find out about the ESIF's capabilities and opportunities for DoD.
To learn more about energy systems integration or the ESIF, contact Ben Kroposki.
NREL's R&D focus on conversion of biomass materials to hydrocarbon fuels—often called "drop in" or "infrastructure-compatible" biofuels—paves the way for DoD's direct replacement of gasoline, diesel, marine, and jet fuels produced from petroleum. Through the National Bioenergy Center, the leading national resource for biomass conversion and biofuels R&D, NREL supports DoD's goal to reduce dependence on foreign oil across all military branches.
The NREL-led $50 million 3-year National Advanced Biofuels Consortium is scheduled to make one or more of these "drop-in" biofuels pathways pilot-ready by 2013. These breakthroughs can speed the development of hydrocarbon fuels for DoD, including JP-5/8 for aircraft and F-76 for ships, which will substantially reduce the military's reliance on fossil fuels.
NREL provides technical analysis and input on energy strategies, from the installation and forward operating base levels to service-wide and national levels. Our capabilities include technical, economic, and policy analysis using proven models and credible data.
Through Energy Analysis, NREL offers expertise in developing decision-support software tools to complement DoD's focus on creating a strategic energy management infrastructure. Such tools enhance DoD's energy management planning capability, which is an integral first step to measurement and centralized reporting of energy performance.
Because nearly 75% of energy use across DoD occurs in the operational environment, NREL is focused on providing solutions that ensure access to reliable supplies of energy for operational needs and minimize fuel delivery risks in the field. NREL offers the capabilities and technical expertise to address these top priorities. We have developed prototype systems for energy production and distribution, and provided specifications to support DoD procurements. Through modeling and simulation, NREL can replicate conditions in the field to identify solutions and abate operational risks.
For example, NREL is developing a transportable system prototype for the U.S. Army. The Consolidated Utility Base Energy power interface unit—the "CUBE"—offers a containerized, and highly mobile energy system that integrates standard generators, photovoltaics, battery, and grid power. NREL will further expand this capability and capacity for larger-scale DoD prototypes by using the Energy Systems Integration Facility and by leveraging industry partnerships.
NREL's Building Research Program is engaged with the Naval Surface Warfare Center to perform thermal modeling of a Marine forward operating base command and control tent. Similar modeling will provide insight on ship-board thermal management.
Learn more about the ways NREL technical capabilities can support DoD's operational energy needs by contacting Stephen Gorin.