Redflow and Ameresco to deploy prototype microgrid at Stewart Air National Guard Base

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Redflow Limited, an Australian clean energy storage specialist, and Ameresco, a cleantech integrator, announced that Redflow signed a $2.83 million contract with the United States Department of Defense’s (DOD) Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to deliver a prototype microgrid using a 1.2 to 1.4 MWh long duration energy storage (LDES) system.

Microgrids are groups of distributed energy resources, such as solar connected to a battery system, that can disconnect from the grid and operate independently during a power outage. According to recent analysis by Wood Mackenzie’s Grid Edge Service, the U.S. microgrid market reached 10 GW in the third quarter of 2022, with more than 7 GW in operation and the rest in planning or construction stages.

The microgrid will be constructed at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York. The Department of Air Force plans to use the repowered solar microgrid with 1.2 MWh to 1.4 MWh of energy storage to provide energy resilience for critical loads on the base. The microgrid will also provide a dispatchable solar-plus-storage resource capable of peak shaving.

Redflow will partner with Ameresco as its engineering subcontractor to deliver the microgrid project. The project, which aims to extend the duration of energy storage for existing installations, will repower a solar-powered microgrid currently located at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in New York state.

Redflow produces zinc-bromine flow batteries that are designed to work in harsh conditions in deep cycling, long-duration stationary energy storage applications in the commercial & industrial sector. The battery systems are scalable from a single battery installation through multiple grid-scale battery deployments.

This project is the result of Redflow being selected to participate in the DIU’s Extended Duration Storage for Installations program. The program is designed to match innovative LDES technologies to projects that demonstrate additional technological capability by providing energy resilience and power backup across the Department of Defense’s 450+ global bases.

“We have been working with the Defense Innovation Unit for the past year to support their energy resilience objectives across the military’s global operations, said Tim Harris, Redflow CEO and managing director. “To be selected as the solution provider is validation that Redflow’s LDES solutions hold the potential to deliver significant benefits to US Department of Defense installations worldwide.”

Ameresco is no stranger to military microgrid installations, having partnered with Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey on a $140 million infrastructure and energy resilience project. As part of the federal government’s Climate Smart Building Initiative, the energy project will include a 32 MW solar facility with a 2 MW/ 4 MWh battery energy storage system. Energy savings steps are also being taken, including the installation of 90,000 smart LED light fixture retrofits.

“This groundbreaking microgrid project at Stewart Air National Guard Base exemplifies the deployment of innovative technologies to deliver resilient, sustainable solutions at US military installations,” said Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president, Ameresco. “Together with Redflow, we’re energized to witness how this microgrid will bolster base resilience and set new standards for clean energy advancement, inspiring a green and resilient future for US Department of Defense installations worldwide.”

The Department of Air Force is planning deployment and commissioning of this system for the second half of 2024. If successful, the solution could be rolled out across numerous U.S. Department of Defense facilities and critical infrastructure.

The military installation is expected to contribute to the Department of Defense emissions reduction goal of 25% by 2025 and will support New York state’s 70% renewable energy by 2030 goal.

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