Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Lockheed Martin to build first long-duration energy storage system for U.S. Army

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract to build the first megawatt-scale, long-duration energy storage system for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Under the management of the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), the system called GridStar Flow will be installed at Fort Carson, Colorado.

GridStar Flow is an innovative redox flow battery designed for large-capacity storage applications that stores power generated from renewable energy sources and dispatches it to electric grids during peak demand or unanticipated electricity loss.

According to Lockheed Martin, the new system will help minimize backup fossil fuel required to sustain critical mission operations during a 14- to 30-day grid outage. On-site storage of large amounts of fuel is problematic, and disruptions during a widespread, long-term outage could inhibit resupply.

GridStar Flow is optimized to provide six or more hours of duration to ensure critical operations can continue in the event of a long-term power outage.

Lockheed Martin’s first customer-sited production system is intended as a demonstration unit for the Army and ERDC-CERL. To verify that crucial missions can continue in the event of a long-term power outage, this system will be tested against protocols that simulate microgrid and renewable integration. It is expected to have a discharge duration of 10 hours.

“Electric grids are undergoing unprecedented change. Energy requirements are shifting as we consider renewable resources coupled with utility-scale, long-duration storage options,” said Dr. Andrew J. Nelson, director of CERL. “Solutions to increase resiliency and self-sufficiency are crucial to economically and sustainably supporting DoD operations.”

Insights from this pilot project could support the deployment of future long-duration storage across all DoD services and installations.

“We are committed to supporting the U.S. Army’s climate strategy to foster modernization and readiness across the force while seeking out solutions that offer a more secure, sustainable, and cleaner future,” said Tom Jarvi, Lockheed Martin GridStar Flow program director. “GridStar Flow is designed to meet emerging, long-duration energy storage needs and bolsters the necessary grid resilience to combat 21st-century security challenges.”

Lockheed Martin, ERDC-CERL, and the U.S. Army plan to break ground on this GridStar Flow project in the fall of 2022.