NREL and the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) work closely together on projects that demonstrate and validate energy technologies with approaches that can be replicated for broad impact across DOD.
NREL's collaboration with the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the military services helps DOD achieve key energy security goals, while setting the stage for broad market adoption of these technologies.
To learn about NREL's capabilities, contact Stephen Gorin.
Browse examples of NREL's projects with the Department of Defense across all military service branches:
NREL is helping the U.S. Air Force guide and implement an energy security plan focused on a microgrid at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The project will identify a microgrid that will provide onsite power for critical loads in the event of utility loss. Working with the Air Force Academy and Colorado Springs utilities, NREL has developed a detailed scope of the project, which includes analyzing the design and technical scope of the microgrid (critical loads, generation sources, operational requirements, etc.).
In 2012, nine pilot projects were chosen for the U.S. Army Net Zero Initiative to achieve net zero energy by 2020. A net zero energy installation produces as much energy onsite as it uses over the course of a year. Working with the Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy and Environment, NREL is developing net zero strategies for each of the nine projects, which include six net zero energy installations, two integrated net zero installations, and all Oregon National Guard installations. Learn more about the Army Net Zero Energy Initiative.
For the U.S. Army, NREL is developing a transportable system prototype for the Consolidated Utility Base Energy (CUBE) project. The "CUBE"—a power interface unit—offers a containerized and highly mobile energy system that integrates standard generators, photovoltaics (PV), and battery and grid power.
Fort Carson, Colorado, has set a goal to be net zero energy, water, and waste by 2020 through the use of energy efficiency and alternative energy technologies. NREL works with Fort Carson to lead technology demonstrations, provide design and technical assistance, and research methods for reducing energy use in new and existing buildings. Learn more.
To help the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar improve energy security and move toward net zero energy goals, NREL performed an assessment at Miramar to evaluate the potential for energy reduction. In the end, NREL established a framework for reaching net zero energy at military installations across all branches that will help military leadership select the best projects for meeting DOD energy goals. Learn more about NREL's work at Miramar.
With support from the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Installations, Energy and Environment, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point's Directorate of Public Works (DPW), NREL partnered with West Point's energy team to evaluate renewable energy projects identified in the net zero strategy. NREL is also evaluating options to improve energy security at West Point, and providing technical and financial analysis for DPW and Army Environmental Command, which is supporting the environmental assessment of renewable energy development at West Point.
NREL is supporting the U.S. Navy through an interagency agreement with the Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) by providing energy improvement technology demonstrations on Navy installations in Hawaii and Guam. NREL formed integrated project teams with NAVFAC-Pacific, NAVFAC-Hawaii, NAVFAC-HQ, and the Defense Commissary Agency to select and execute the demonstration projects, which encompass energy efficiency, alternative energy, and energy system integration efforts. These demonstrations feature near commercial technologies, and NREL will provide recommendations for adoption across the Department of Defense.
NREL's Building Research Program is engaged with the U.S. Navy's Naval Surface Warfare Center to perform thermal modeling of a Marine forward-operating base command and control tent. Similar modeling will provide insight on shipboard thermal management.