Camp Smith in Halawa is to be the site for the first military installation in the U.S. to have the ability to maintain all critical operations in the event of a power outage. It is the home of the U.S Pacific Command, the nation’s largest combatant command, and Marine Forces Pacific, headquarters for all Marine Corps operations in the Pacific, both of which are critical to sustaining command and control of military operations in the Pacific.

The plan calls for adding five diesel generators to the two already there and, combined with a bank of photovoltaic cells installed on the camp’s new fitness center and two large solar carports, generate enough electricity for an “energy island” micro-grid. Other solar projects are planned for the camp as well.

“We’re not going to be completely off the grid at Camp Smith, it gives us the ability to go off the grid when power’s out.  We can still maintain all the critical missions that are here,” said Ross Roley, an energy analyst at Pacific Command’s Joint Innovation and Experimentation Division.

The micro-grid is being installed as part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS).  It is expected to save money, with the camp running its generators during peak load times and earning a financial reward from the local utility.  Installation is expected to start in August and the project will cost about $8.0 million.