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Navy exercise tests smart grid capabilities at San Diego installations

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SAN DIEGO — Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Southwest engineers along with Navy Region Southwest (NRSW), Marine Corps Installation West (MCIWEST), and San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) capitalized last month on Navy-wide security exercise to test the abilities of local Navy and Marine Corps installations to reduce electrical consumption.

"These tests help us better understand the load aggregation and deferment opportunities we have across our Department of Navy bases in the Southwest," said Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, assistant secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment.

"I remain convinced that, working with our partners, we will be able to demonstrate an effective regional smart grid that can be exported to other states and regions."

Citadel Shield is an annual Navy-wide exercise to ensure U.S. Navy security forces maintain a high level of readiness to respond to threats. A series of demand reduction scenarios during the exercise were used to test the ability of San Diego Navy and Marine Corps installations to reduce electrical consumption during an electricity curtailment period.

"The test was part of the Secretary of the Navy's Smart Power Partnership Initiative which will help the Navy improve energy security and reduce energy costs through increased use of renewable energy sources and partnership with power producers and regulators," said Capt. James Wink, NAVFAC Smart Power Partnership Initiative (SPPI) West Coast project lead.

NAVFAC Southwest used an area wide energy management system (AWEMS) and demand limiting load rolling (DLLR) software at 22 buildings located on Naval Base San Diego (NBSD), Naval Base Coronado (NBC), and Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar to centrally monitor and control the reduction of electrical consumption. These 22 buildings were selected because they represent typical facilities throughout the region and their electrical loads could be used to represent larger shore electrical consumption throughout the San Diego area. NAVFAC Southwest engineers and SDG&E spent three months analyzing loads of mechanical equipment in these facilities and programmed the DLLR software to make global equipment adjustment to respond to various demand reduction scenarios.

"During the exercise period, three levels of increasing demand reduction were tested," Wink said. "All demand control systems worked perfectly and energy reduction data is being analyzed to help the Navy determine the feasibility of participating in demand reduction programs in the future."

In addition to testing the Smart Grid capabilities, the Navy also operated a power plant at NBC during the period of maximum curtailment, to take 2.4 MW off the grid.

"This exercise demonstrated a Department of the Navy capability to control electrical loads and respond to a notional curtailment period," said Capt. Clifford Maurer, NAVFAC Southwest commanding officer. "As we head into the summer cooling season the lessons learned from this experiment will allow us to better respond to real world curtailment events. The control systems all worked very well, but for a program like this to be successful in the long term it is imperative that all hands do their best to reduce energy consumption on a daily basis."

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