JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas – The Department of the Air Force and Florida Power and Light Gulf Power Company, known as GPC, signed DAF’s first Energy Assurance Lease Oct. 13, for the construction of a solar microgrid system with an estimated 150 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array and 450 kW, 2.5 hour battery energy storage system at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
Under the terms of the EAL agreement, during normal grid operations, power from the microgrid will support GPC’s regular retail customers, including Tyndall AFB. During grid outages, the Air Force will have first right of refusal to backup power for support of three mission critical facilities via Electrically Islanded Operations. The 10-year agreement is a pilot program for GPC to demonstrate microgrid capabilities. The utility company will own, operate and maintain the microgrid system, and construction will be at no cost to the Air Force. In addition to energy resilience, the project supports the DAF’s renewable energy generation goals.
“The Tyndall Microgrid is a fantastic example of a win-win project that the Air Force looks to develop with industry. Tyndall AFB gets enhanced electrical resilience through onsite generation as the primary benefit and renewables as an enhanced benefit and Gulf Power gets strategically sited rate based generation,” said Kirk Phillips, director of the DAF Office of Energy Assurance at the Air Force Civil Engineer Center.
The EAL consists of an approximate two-acre parcel of land made available through the Enhanced Use Lease Program managed by AFCEC’s Installations Directorate. EULs are long-term agreements between the Air Force and public or private developers to lease non-excess, underutilized Air Force property in exchange for cash rent or in-kind consideration.
The AFCEC Installations Directorate acquires, manages and disposes of Air Force-controlled real property worldwide. To date, AFCEC has executed 22 EULs with over $108 million in consideration received by the Air Force. The Tyndall Microgrid EAL is the first of its kind for the Air Force.
“We are excited about this project. With a renewed focus on energy resilience for Air Force missions, it is undoubtedly the first of many to come,” said Julia Cantrell, chief of AFCEC’s Real Estate Development EUL Execution Branch.