Defense Spotlight: Fort Carson Optimizes Energy Storage

The Fort Carson military base stands at the edge of Colorado Springs, pressed against the Cheyenne Mountain State Park. The long-running military installation was established after Pearl Harbor in 1942. Lately, they’ve been working to innovate advanced energy storage.

In recent years, Fort Carson introduced the Battery Energy Storage System, affectionately called “BESS.” BESS was installed due to a partnership with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Colorado Springs Utilities, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). It is the largest peak energy shaving battery, currently, in the Department of Defense.

BESS is expected to save Fort Carson over $500,000 a year for up to 20 years with its REopt energy model. This model is an optimized energy system that recommends the best combination of using renewable energy, traditional energy, and sustainable energy storage options for buildings and communities.

At Fort Carson, this means that the BESS charges at night when energy costs are lower and discharges stored energy during the daytime when energy is more expensive. This allows the base to use the cheaper energy stored in BESS rather than expensive traditional energy sources and reduce their utility bills.

Implementation of this first-of-its-kind project will combine Aecom’s development, integration and construction expertise with Lockheed Martin’s modular, resilient GridStar energy storage units and Geli, Inc.’s predictive analytics control software. The BESS is intended to substantially reduce demand charges Fort Carson pays to its electric provider.

The technology behind BESS’s abilities comes from Aecom, Lockheed Martin, and Geli, Inc. Aecom lent their development and construction expertise, while Lockheed provided their GridStar energy storage units. Geli contributed predictive analytics software instrumental to the project’s success.

“During project development, our team surveyed the energy storage industry for the optimum solution for Fort Carson,” said Annika Moman, Senior Vice President at Aecom Power and Energy Services Lead. “We decided on Lockheed Martin’s GridStar units due to their unique modular architecture, allowing for a flexible design and a reduction in operational risk. Our working partnership with Lockheed and Geli was vital to our team and Fort Carson in making this groundbreaking project happen.”

BESS is incredibly resilient and supports energy security at Fort Carson. BESS consists of multiple small batteries grouped together to create one energy storage device. It can store enough energy to power approximately 3,400 houses.

U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO)  (a CRES Clean Energy Champion) has been a leader in bringing efficient energy storage options like BESS to the table. On a bipartisan bill for tax investment credits for energy storage, Senator Gardner said energy storage efforts will support a cleaner and more resilient power grid and allow for an increase in renewable sources.

We salute our military leaders for their efforts in energy innovation. Check out our Defense Spotlight series for more stories of Military energy excellence.

Stay updated with the latest news!