Navy teams up with APS on microgrid backup power network in Yuma


To guarantee backup power in case of a grid disturbance, the Department of the Navy recently partnered with APS, Arizona's largest electric utility, to create a 25-MW microgrid network at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Yuma in Arizona.

Microgrids are small-scale power systems capable of functioning independently or in tandem with an area’s main electrical grid. APS has sought to enhance dependability and plan for the future through novel methods and deemed the collaboration an apt fit.

“Microgrids will play an increasing role in our future resource planning,” APS Executive Vice President and  Chief Operating Officer Mark Schiavoni said. “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 new low-emission facility will operate adjacent to Yuma’s existing substation under the terms of a 30-year lease allowing APS to access operation and maintenance. APS anticipates groundbreaking in early 2016 with plans to complete the project 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,”  Col. Ricardo Martinez, MCAS Yuma commanding officer, said. “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.”

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