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Senator Schatz Announces $20 Million Air Force Agreement To Improve Energy Resiliency At Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

Schatz Tours Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam with Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Miranda Ballentine

Honolulu, HI – Today, U.S. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawai‘i) announced a $20 million cooperative agreement between the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and the Hawai‘i Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT) to develop a microgrid demonstration project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam that will strengthen energy resiliency for the 154th Wing of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard. 

“Assured access to energy is essential to the Air Force’s mission.  Without it, the Air Force could not fly its aircraft or power the flight simulators, alert facilities, and other equipment that are critical to sustaining the readiness of our airmen at installations like Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam,” said Senator Schatz.  “The Air Force's effort to develop a microgrid testbed in Hawai‘i will help ensure that the Air National Guard has access to the energy it needs to execute its defense and homeland security missions, while providing a proof of concept that alternative energy and microgrid technologies can support the Air Force's broader energy security goals.” 

“The U.S. military has made a significant commitment to renewable energy in Hawai‘i, and this cooperative agreement is an acknowledgement that Hawai‘i is a natural testbed for the development of alternative fuels,” said Governor David Ige. “The agreement will benefit the Air Force and the state. I thank Senator Schatz for his effective advocacy on the Appropriations Committee and our military decision makers for their consistent leadership in the drive to a renewable energy future.”

“We're extremely proud to partner with the State of Hawai‘i, the Hawai‘i Air National Guard and the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies to create 21st century energy solutions at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The Joint Smart Micro-grid Project and other energy initiatives at the Hawai‘i Air National Guard's 154th Wing will provide crucial energy capabilities to assure the mission while efficiently using renewable energy sources and preserving limited natural resources,” said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and energy.

The $20 million cooperative agreement is supported with an initial commitment of $3.2 million from AFRL. Under the terms of the agreement, the Air Force will develop a microgrid demonstration project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, with electricity provided from an existing on base Air Force-HCATT hydrogen fuel cell source and other planned onsite renewable energy projects. The microgrid demonstration project will directly support the 154th Wing of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard, including facilities that support the maintenance, readiness, and operations of the 199th  Fighter Squadron.