TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (WMBB) — Tyndall Air Force Base officials showed off their newest energy resiliency facility Friday morning.
The Tyndall microgrid will be a resource for the base in case of a power outage and it’s the first of its kind.
The base will be the first to have a solar microgrid — a 150-kilowatt facility, with 300 solar panels and a battery system — and the first in Florida built by Florida Power and Light.
“If a man-made or a natural disaster or incident occurred that interrupted the power here it helps us in a contingency. We already have other ways to power the building, but it helps us in those contingencies that we can continue to operate and we can continue to do our mission,” said First Air Force Commander Lt. Gen. Kirk Pierce.
These solar panels will provide power to the First Air Force headquarters for up to 4 hours.
The unique panels act as an island with a combination of solar and energy storage.
Every single day when the sun is up it is generating power and putting that power on the grid.
In return, it will power facilities all over the base whenever they need electricity.
“For the Air Force it’s resiliency, so in the homeland, we talk all the time in the Continental United States and especially in North America, that we need to have a resilient infrastructure. So if we need to be able to respond for the Department of Defense or from the Air Force that the people here that are working operationally whether it’s flying F22s or eventually F35s here at Tyndall Air Force Base or for us where we have an air operations center that controls the defense of North America,” Pierce said.
Commander of Air Force Civil Engineers Center John Allen said they see this as a great opportunity to reinforce mission assurance all across the Air Force.
“We’ve been thinking about microgrids for years. After Hurricane Michael, we made a decision that this was a base we were going to need to bring back. But we wanted to bring it back in a way that was going to be relevant for the next 70 years,” Allen said.
The microgrid took 5 months to build.
It will not cost the Air Force any additional money.
FPL officials said they hope this is the first of many microgrids they’ll install across the Air Force.
The solar microgrid cost $2.5 million, but FPL is covering the cost.