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REopt Identifies and Evaluates Microgrid Options for the U.S. Army

Photo of a combined heat and power plant

NREL used REopt to evaluate existing and planned on-site energy systems, such as this combined heat and power plant, to power three U.S. Army Garrison Italy military installations during a potential grid outage. Photo by Sam Booth, NREL

NREL partnered with the U.S. Army Garrison Italy (USAG Italy) to perform a microgrid feasibility and conceptual design analysis for three of USAG Italy’s military installations located in Vicenza, Italy. NREL used the REopt™ model to identify the cost-optimal mix and dispatch of energy generation and storage systems in utility-connected mode, and to evaluate life cycle costs and savings of various microgrid configurations.

The microgrid(s) could provide energy cost savings to USAG Italy by optimizing the use of on-site generation and storage and coordinating power sharing (between installations) to reduce utility costs during normal grid-connected operations. The microgrid(s) could also provide energy resilience to USAG Italy by powering mission-essential loads during a utility outage. Existing and planned on-site energy systems, such as photovoltaics, combined heat and power, and electric and thermal storage, were included in the analysis. The analysis considered several possible microgrid configurations for the three installations, including independent and interconnected microgrids.

NREL used REopt to estimate the life cycle cost and net present value of each of the various microgrid configuration options. USAG Italy is using these results to inform their microgrid design and investments for future projects.

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Dylan Cutler