FORT CARSON, Colo. — Fort Carson broke ground on Nov. 3 to begin construction of the Flow Battery Pilot program, an innovative new one-megawatt battery, which will store and provide energy for future.
Maj. Gen. David M. Hodne, commanding general of 4th Infantry Division and Fort Carson; Col. Sean M. Brown, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Carson commander; Paul Farnan, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Installations, Energy and Environment); Brenda McCullough, director of Installation Management Command-Readiness; and Dr. Andrew Nelson, director, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; were participants in the ceremony.
Fort Carson partnered with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lockheed Martin, Department of Public Works, USACE Omaha District, USACE Huntsville Engineering Center and Colorado Springs Utilities on the project.
Brown said it’s exciting being at the forefront of the pilot program and noted many of these projects are brand new. He knows they can’t take on Fort Carson’s full needs, but with the ability to experiment with the technologies and other projects, the feedback can make them better.
“We are able to improve our capability of today, while also contributing energy for the future,” he said.
The large redox flow battery, otherwise known as GridStar Flow by the Lockheed Designers, is a one-megawatt battery that, once operational, is expected to provide long-duration, clean energy storage and mission critical power. It’s estimated the power delivered by the battery will be the equivalent of the electricity consumption of 400 Fort Carson homes for an average day.
“GridStar Flow, our long-duration energy storage system, is comprised of engineered electrolytes made from commonly available materials to enable durability, flexibility and competitive total cost of ownership,” said Botwinik.
The new flow battery will help reduce the strain on the local electrical grid by providing power when demand is at its highest.
“We need to be able to operate no matter what’s going on outside of the fence line,” said Farnan. “If the grid goes down for whatever reason, not just for a couple of hours but for weeks or months, we are still able to operate and maintain mission readiness.”
For the next two years the flow battery pilot program will run and be evaluated on how the system works. If the system is successful, the program will be implemented across installations.
“Over the next few years, we’ll work with Dr. Nelson and his team at CERL, along with the team here at Fort Carson, to answer these questions and apply what we’ve learned to support deployment of long-duration energy storage across all Army and DOD installations,” said Botwinik.
Fort Carson has been at the forefront of many energy saving resiliency pilots and programs.
This battery should increase the resilience, and it produces a carbon free generation of power, which falls in line with the Energy Strategy Plan.
This brings “the Army one step closer to achieving grid resiliency and powering through long-term power outages that threaten critical mission,” said Botwinik.