Project Update: What's New at the MCAS Miramar Microgrid

Jun 20, 2019 9:00 AM ET
Campaign: Microgrids
A tour held during Microgrid Knowledge’s Microgrid 2019 conference allowed attendees to visit the EWOC while in commissioning.

Marine Corps Air Station Miramar Microgrid: From Design and Construction to Ope…

Completion of Energy & Water Operations Center (EWOC)

One of the most integral components of the MCAS Miramar microgrid is now operational. Construction is complete for the new Energy and Water Operations Center (EWOC), where the microgrid system will be monitored, controlled and managed. The EWOC provides operators with direct control of integrated microgrid control system, utilizing Schneider Electric’s OASyS SCADA software, as well as other utility and energy control systems.

The EWOC plays host to all energy control systems and activities in one centralized space within the Public Works Department that includes the following functions:

  • Industrial Control System Management
  • Project Development/Energy Auditing
  • Technology/Equipment Testing
  • Calsense Smart Irrigation System
  • Installation Energy Management
  • Advanced Metering Infrastructure
  • Area Wide Energy Management System (HVAC Controls)
  • Installation Microgrid Controller & SCADA Station
  • Office space for tenant training/behavioral awareness/outreach efforts

A “W” for Water Management

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the MCAS Miramar microgrid is the integration of water management as part of a reliable and resilient system. Their existing smart irrigation control and reclaimed water system, part of a holistic water conservation program, is also monitored at the EWOC. Smarter water management benefits the base by helping identify and correcting water quality issues, adding water resilience and improving water circulation on the base.

Fit Out of Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing Systems for Power Plant

The microgrid’s new power plant was fitted out for it’s mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) systems.

Finalizing Power Plant Construction

As the power plant construction finalizes, 480v and 12kV switchgear and generators are installed.

The power plant’s 6.45 MW of diesel and natural gas generation will supplement other distributed energy resources that integrate to support the microgrid. The diesel and natural gas will serve as redundant energy back-up and will be dispatched intermittently when renewable power is unavailable. This will allow the microgrid to provide 100 percent capability at all times, even in the case of a local power outage across the entire base and its mission-critical flight line.

The microgrid control system has algorithms that will constantly analyze the costs and savings in order to dispatch generation. Diesel may back up the landfill power plant but the true operation of the microgrid may only use the natural gas to provide that support economically.

The cost of fuel can vary greatly, and the price of fuel and time to cover the necessary load would be a factor in the design to run the generation to mitigate peak demand. In the future the microgrid will also use energy storage to help mitigate this issue.

Construction Complete

Construction of the microgrid’s power plant is substantially complete with the focus now on local and integrated commissioning. The power plant utilizes lean burn technology engines certified to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exhaust emission standards. More than 230 advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) meters at the installation and the throughout the microgrid system enable analysis of power flows to identify opportunities to optimize energy use and monitor asset performance in real time.