november 30, 2015
aps partners with department of the navy on energy security project at marine corps air station yuma
APS’s first microgrid project and the first military base to secure 100 percent backup power
PHOENIX – The Department of the Navy (DON) announced today a partnership with APS to develop a low-emission microgrid network that generates 25 megawatts (MW) of electricity at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma. This microgrid system will provide 100 percent of the backup power needed for MCAS Yuma in the event of a grid disruption, enhancing the base’s reliability and security.
A microgrid is an industry term used to describe a small-scale power grid that can operate independently or in conjunction with the area’s main electrical grid. APS has taken an industry lead to find innovative ways to increase customer and system reliability, and meet future resource needs by partnering with customers on microgrid projects, like MCAS Yuma.
“Microgrids will play an increasing role in our future resource planning,” said Mark Schiavoni, APS Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “This partnership with MCAS Yuma is a win-win initiative. The base benefits from backup power generation and APS’s experience in the safe and reliable operation of generation, and APS will realize flexible and lower-cost peak power generation for our customers.”
The 30-year lease gives APS access for the development, operation and maintenance of the power generation facility, located adjacent to the base’s existing substation. The backup power will ensure operations at Yuma can remain online despite potential disruptions to the grid. The signing of this deal marks the start of a new collaboration between the DON and APS, and will exemplify energy security and resiliency. APS expects to break ground on the project early next year and bring the facility on line by the end of the second quarter of 2016.
“One of our key directives is to ensure energy security for our base, the collaboration between MCAS Yuma and APS will help to fulfill that mission,” said MCAS Yuma Commanding Officer Colonel Ricardo Martinez. “This is a historic moment for the Marine Corps, Department of the Navy and Department of Defense. We are moving toward an energy secure future and we are proud that MCAS Yuma has made such a significant step toward that goal.”
During normal grid operating conditions, the microgrid will provide peak power to APS customers in the Yuma area if and when they need it most. In the event of a grid outage, this facility will provide power to MCAS Yuma through a direct connection to the base’s infrastructure, creating a backup generation facility. The 25 MW capacity is projected to meet all future energy requirements at the base.
The DON is actively pursuing opportunities to collaborate with energy service providers like APS to develop cost-effective, energy security projects that increase the DON’s operational capability and benefit the local community.
APS, Arizona’s largest and longest-serving electricity utility, serves nearly 1.2 million customers in 11 of the state’s 15 counties. With headquarters in Phoenix, APS is the principal subsidiary of Pinnacle West Capital Corp. (NYSE: PNW).