One of the most interesting experiments at the intersection of tech and energy is unfolding not in Silicon Valley but inside the Pentagon. The Army wants to build a “microgrid” at every base around the world by 2035.
The Army has built a floating island of solar panels in a North Carolina lake that makes a bit over a megawatt of electricity; a 10 megawatt array in Alabama ;and a 30 megawatt one in Georgia. All told, the Army has installed over 500 megawatts worth of renewable capacity in recent years. Fort Hunter Liggett, about halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, is currently building a microgrid that will allow it to supply all of its own electricity for up to two weeks at a time — the first Army base to do so. It will be tested by May 2023 at the latest as part of a pilot program, along with a newer prototype at the Camp Parks base some 30 miles east of San Francisco, which will be built starting early next year.