Join our brand new verified AMN Telegram channel and get important news uncensored!

Army installs battery energy storage system to store renewable solar energy at Fort Detrick

Fort Detrick (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers/Flickr)

The U.S. Army, in partnership with a renewable energy and energy efficiency company, has finished installing a battery energy storage system at Fort Detrick that is integrated with an existing solar facility to stabilize renewable power at the base.

The battery energy storage system (BESS), installed by the company Ameresco, has a capacity of six megawatts. The solar energy facility at the base, which Ameresco also installed, has a capacity of 18.6 megawatts, according to a news release.

The BESS can be charged with power generated by the solar energy facility and power from the utility grid that brings power into Fort Detrick, according to Ben Lavoie, Ameresco’s senior director of energy storage and EV solutions.

“We’re able to take renewable energy that’s generated at the site and not only serve the site’s need for electricity, but also provide a greater benefit of grid stability and … help ensure really reliable, high-quality power is fed to the site and to the community in general,” he said.

Lavoie said Ameresco has installed similar systems at other military bases throughout the U.S. and has worked with the U.S. government for decades to support its energy needs.

Fort Detrick is home to several government agencies and military services. These include the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, the National Cancer Institute’s Frederick campus and the National Interagency Confederation for Biological Research.

The idea to add a BESS to the renewable energy system at Fort Detrick came about when the existing solar energy facility began operating in 2016.

Bob Hughes, executive director of the army’s Office of Energy Initiatives, said Ameresco offered to add a BESS to Fort Detrick’s renewable energy system and adjust the existing contract between the company and the Army.

In addition to providing grid stability and other benefits like backup power, the base’s renewable energy system provides financial incentives to Fort Detrick for operating it, Hughes said.

Lavoie said installations like the BESS are being adopted more frequently throughout the country. He said that it’s up to the government and the Army if they are interested in expanding Fort Detrick’s renewable energy system any further.

Hughes said the Army would “like to see it grow, [but] we don’t have any plans to grow that yet.”

Lavoie said implementing the BESS involved cooperation with multiple government agencies like the Office of Energy Initiatives, as well as the Defense Logistics Agency and Fort Detrick’s energy management team.

“It’s one of the first projects where we’ve deployed a battery storage system along with a solar [energy] system as part of … a renewable energy services agreement,” Lavoie said. “It’s been a very exciting and cooperative process from that standpoint.”


(c) 2024 The Frederick News-Post

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.