DOD Inks Deal with Redflow for Microgrid Repowering at Air National Guard Base

The U.S. Dept. of Defense (DOD), as part of the agency’s climate action plan and its strategy for sustainability, will deploy a prototype microgrid at a military installation in New York state.

Redflow Limited, an energy storage group, and Ameresco on September 18 announced that Redflow has signed a $2.83 million contract with the DOD’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) for a microgrid that will use a 1.2- to 1.4-MWh Redflow long duration energy storage (LDES) system. Ameresco, a cleantech integrator specializing in energy efficiency and renewable energy, will serve as Redflow’s subcontracted engineering group for the project.

The energy storage system is part of a repowering scheme for the solar-powered microgrid currently in use at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh. Redflow on Monday said the repowered microgrid will integrate the LDES, enabling the installation to provide a dispatchable solar-plus-storage resource for peak shaving and energy resilience.

Redflow is known for its zinc-bromine flow batteries. The company in August announced it would deploy a 4-MWh project in Queensland, Australia, its largest in that country to date. The company in June announced installation of a 20-MWh system in California that will provide power for the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indians.

The groups said Redflow’s LDES “will demonstrate scalable flow batteries at MWh scale and restore microgrid-controllable renewables at a military industrial scale for integration for the Air Force base, with the objective of delivering a stronger base of power for improved returns on existing investments to enhance resilience.”

Several U.S. military branches—including the Army, Navy, and Air Force—have adopted climate action plans and strategies to decarbonize their operations in recent years.

Defense Innovation Unit Program

“We are proud to have been selected as the energy storage technology provider for this U.S. Department of Defense microgrid project,” said Tim Harris, Redflow’s CEO and managing director. “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. To be selected as the solution provider is validation that Redflow’s LDES solutions hold the potential to deliver significant benefits to U.S. Department of Defense installations worldwide.”

The DIU’s “Extended Duration Storage for Installations” program, which includes Redflow as a member, is designed to match LDES technologies to projects that demonstrate additional technological capability. The LDES technologies in the program would provide energy resilience and backup power across the DOD’s more than 450 bases worldwide.

“This groundbreaking microgrid project at Stewart Air National Guard Base exemplifies the deployment of innovative technologies to deliver resilient, sustainable solutions at U.S. military installations,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Ameresco’s executive vice president. “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 U.S. Department of Defense installations worldwide.”

The system at the Stewart base is expected to be deployed and commissioned in the second half of 2024. The Redflow energy storage will provide resilience for critical loads on the base. Officials said the system supports not only the DOD, but also New York state clean energy goals, and could be installed at other DOD facilities and critical military infrastructure across the globe.

Darrell Proctor is a senior associate editor for POWER (@POWERmagazine).

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