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NREL Enhances Energy Resiliency at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar

Since 2008, NREL has partnered with Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar, helping it become more renewable and more energy resilient.

Raised solar panels shade a parking lot

NREL is working with the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, to develop a microgrid that is powered by solar, landfill gas, natural gas, and diesel fuel.

It started with support of net-zero energy planning focused on the installation of distributed renewable energy systems and increased energy efficiency, and then a 100% renewably powered, single-building microgrid demonstration project. And now the partnership is tackling something even bigger—an installation-wide microgrid that will ensure that the MCAS flight-line and other critical supporting facilities always have power, even during a blackout. 

The new, advanced microgrid will feature an intelligent controller for tapping into diverse energy sources—such as solar photovoltaics (PV), landfill gas, natural gas, energy storage, and diesel fuel—while maximizing use of existing renewable energy. The microgrid will enhance energy resiliency by allowing the installation to operate even when the utility is down, using redundant/on-site fuel sources.

Connected to the grid, the new microgrid is expected to generate revenue through activities such as peak shaving and demand response.  

NREL has supported the entire life cycle of this microgrid project including feasibility, funding, procurement, and design; and will continue to support construction, commissioning, and demonstration. Throughout the partnership, NREL has provided technical expertise in support of MCAS Miramar’s energy resiliency efforts.


Microgrids offer reliable and secure energy for military bases as part of their energy resiliency strategies. In 2011, a blackout in San Diego, California, left MCAS Miramar without power for 8 hours, highlighting the need for increased energy security, which the new microgrid will provide.

Learn more about NREL’s microgrid research.

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