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NEWS | May 27, 2022

Parks Reserve Forces Training Area Increases Renewable Energy: Solar Array Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

By Ashley Bradford, Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate

Parks Reserve Forces Training Area (PRFTA) is celebrating another step closer to uninterrupted access to electricity. On May 24, the Army Reserve-funded installation held a ribbon cutting ceremony to commemorate the addition of two megawatts of renewable energy through a newly activated solar array. The project supports PRFTA’s microgrid development plan which, upon completion, will supply the installation’s critical facilities with required energy resilience during times of disruption.

“Today puts PRFTA another step closer to secure reliable energy, which is critical in adapting to the climate threats we face in California,” explained Col. Serena D. Johnson, PRFTA Garrison Commander. “A loss of power has the capability to destructively impact operations and overall mission readiness. Through our long-term installation energy and water planning, we’re modernizing our facilities sustainably and efficiently into the future.”

Johnson cut the ceremonial ribbon with Jarrod Ross, Fort Hunter Liggett’s Resource Efficiency Manager. Other ribbon cutting ceremony attendees included representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, and a representative from the Office of Congressman Eric Swalwell.

PRFTA, a sub-installation of Fort Hunter Liggett, has served as an Army pilot installation on the leading edge of testing and implementing energy and water resilience initiatives. Construction of the $7.1M Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program-funded solar array kicked off in 2014 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineering Sacramento District. After unexpected delays and challenges, the system was activated in May 2022 after the completion of interconnection work, added upgrades, and required safety devices to ensure system compliance. In the meantime, PRFTA made significant infrastructure upgrades to its distribution systems and metering and building controls. The installation is also adding a battery energy storage system and controls to create a holistic microgrid system.  

PRFTA broke ground on a Resilient Replicable Modular Microgrid (R2M2) in August 2021. The project is funded through a grant and matching funds agreement between the California Energy Commission and the Army Reserve Installation Management Directorate, while being designed and supervised by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The R2M2 will consist of 10 individual nodes that work in unison or separately to supply consistent electrical power to facilities during disruption. Upon completion of the microgrid system, PRFTA will become an electric net zero installation as well as surpassing the 14-day resilience requirement for critical operations. The uninterrupted access to energy ensures Army Reserve Soldiers have the resources needed to maintain operations, while supporting federal agencies during natural disasters or other power disruptions.

PRFTA provides base operations, installation services, and training support for the Army Reserve and other Department of Defense service branches. Additionally, PRFTA proactively plans for future military deployments and natural disasters by ensuring that the installation’s footprint and facilities are operational and fully capable of supporting those who serve.