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Energy Projects

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:

Air Force Academy Microgrid Project

Photo of a cathedral.

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.).

Army Net Zero Initiative Projects

Photo a man dressed in Army fatigues plugging in an electric car.

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.

Army Consolidated Utility Base Energy Project

A close-up photo of a cube-shaped mobile power station controller. Its metal-framed exterior reveals inner components, such as yellow circuitry and battery packs. This is the prototype intelligent interface the powers a containerized fully integrated highly mobile energy system designed for military use by integrating standard generators, photovoltaics, battery, and grid power.

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 Net-Zero Energy Projects

Photo of an aerial view of a solar panel array.

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.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Net-Zero Energy Projects

Photo of light poles with solar panels on top and palm trees in the background.

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.

Military Academy at West Point Renewable Energy Projects

Image of the older, fort-style stone buildings that make up the West Point campus. The campus is at the foot of a mountain.

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.

Navy Energy Improvement Demonstration Projects in Hawaii and Guam

Photo showing the aerial view of an island.

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.

Naval Surface Warfare Center Thermal Modeling

Close-up image of a canvas army tent in a field with another tent and some vehicles in the background.

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.