SOURCE: ZBB Energy Corporation

ZBB Energy Corporation

May 02, 2012 08:31 ET

ZBB Energy to Manage Smart Microgrid Power at U.S. Military Base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii as Part of Major DoD Energy Security Initiative

Installation Supports Phase 1 of DoD's Multi-Agency SPIDERS Microgrid Program; Further Establishes ZBB EnerSystem as New Standard for Intelligent, Integrated Power Management

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - May 2, 2012) - ZBB Energy Corporation (NYSE Amex: ZBB), the leading developer of intelligent, renewable energy power platforms, was awarded a contract to provide a ZBB EnerSystem™ integrated power management system for a microgrid installation at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (JBPHH) U.S. Military base in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Manufactured at the company's Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin facility, the ZBB EnerSystem will include a ZBB EnerSection™ power and energy control center combined with a ZBB EnerStore™ next generation proprietary flow battery system. The ZBB EnerSystem will intelligently manage inputs of various energy sources on the base that include an existing photovoltaic (PV) solar power system and new wind turbine system.

The deployment is part of the first phase of a three-phase, $30 million multi-government agency project known as Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security or SPIDERS. SPIDERS is based on a Joint Command Technology Development (JCTD) project between Department of Energy, Department of Defense, and Department of Homeland Security.

In addition to these top level agencies, program participants are diverse and wide ranging, from all branches of the military, including the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers and Naval Facilities Engineering Command, to five DoE national labs (Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratories), the states of Colorado and Hawaii, and local utilities.

The mission of SPIDERS is to reduce the risks associated with unreliable power by establishing the standards and technology for smarter, more secure and robust microgrids that incorporate renewable energy sources while decreasing vulnerability to cyber-attacks.

For example, currently when power is disrupted at a typical military base, individual buildings switch to backup diesel generators, but this has several critical limitations. These systems might fail or run short on fuel, and when they do, there is no way to transfer power from another building's generator. Most generators are oversized for the load and excess fuel is consumed, creating cost and air quality issues. While renewable energy sources could provide backup or supplemental power, because of limited technology, current safety rules require these sources to disconnect when grid power is lost, thereby limiting their practicality.

Developed by Sandia National Laboratories and others, the SPIDERS architecture establishes a smart, cyber-secure microgrid on the base that overcomes these limitations. The microgrid interfaces with the ZBB EnerSection to provide cyber security, reliability, quality control and load leveling during normal mode when interacting with the commercial grid or when isolated (or "islanded"). In either mode, the ZBB EnerSection allows and intelligently optimizes the use of renewables, reducing dependence on diesel-generated power. The system is expected to dramatically increase power reliability, reduce energy costs and shrink the military's carbon "bootprint."

"The unique capabilities of the ZBB EnerSystem set the bar for specifications required by the SPIDERS program," said ZBB Energy president and CEO, Eric Apfelbach. "This win further establishes our ZBB EnerSection as the standard in intelligent, integrated power management for microgrid installations and other renewable power applications."

The three phases of the SPIDERS JCTD project includes three increasingly more extensive microgrid installations that follow a "crawl, walk, run" approach. According to Sandia National Laboratories, this strategy lends itself to streamlining the processes for further government agency and civilian microgrid adoption. The DoD successfully followed a similar approach with the development and government-to-private sector roll-out of other formerly advanced yet untried technologies, including GPS and the Internet.

The three SPIDER installations include:

1. Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam (aka Hickam Air Force Base) in Hawaii: circuit-level microgrid (the crawl stage)

2. Fort Carson in Colorado: a larger microgrid that incorporates a large photovoltaic system and vehicle-to-grid storage (the walk stage)

3. Camp Smith Energy Island in Hawaii: entire base incorporated into the microgrid, with more extensive renewable energy and storage implemented (the run stage)

The baseline power of the three initial SPIDERS microgrids is expected to range from 1.5 to 10 megawatts, depending on the site. After the final installation, the program calls for further DoD implementations as well as dissemination to other federal agencies and the commercial sector.

"Working closely with the DoD and the other participants involved in SPIDERS, we have been granted a unique opportunity to enhance energy security, advance the use of renewable energy, and reduce the environmental impact at this major military base and eventually others," said Timothy Martin, vice president of sales and marketing at ZBB Energy. "Beyond the final phase of this project, SPIDERS provides ZBB a tremendous 'green field' opportunity in both government and commercial sectors."

The SPIDERS program furthers the DoD's mission to increase its use of renewable energy. National Defense Authorization Act of 2010 mandates that the agency produces or procures 25 percent of its total installation energy requirement from renewable sources. As the world's largest fuel consumer, the U.S. Military spent more than $13 billion on energy in 2011.

The advancement of SPIDERS is also advocated by the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), a non-profit membership organization dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America based on clean, renewable energy, with a particular emphasis on technology, finance and policy. Apfelbach was recently appointed to ACORE's Leadership Council, with Martin joining ACORE's National Defense and Security Advisory Committee.

"The SPIDERS program recognizes the fact that the ability of today's warfighter to command, control, deploy and sustain forces has been diminished by our aging, fragile, fossil fuel-dependent electricity grid, and this poses a significant threat to national security," noted Apfelbach. "ZBB's deployment of an advanced power management system at historic Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam is an important milestone toward addressing this clear and present need for greater energy security."

This SPIDERS award is the latest of a number of contract wins for ZBB related to U.S. Military applications. In March, ZBB announced it was awarded a contract by a solar integrator to provide a ZBB EnerSystem to the U.S. Military for use in a unique application designed to operate in both grid-connected and transportable microgrid scenarios.

About ZBB Energy Corporation

ZBB Energy Corporation (NYSE Amex: ZBB) designs, develops, and manufactures advanced energy storage, power electronic systems, and engineered custom and semi-custom products targeted at the growing global need for distributed renewable energy, energy efficiency, power quality, and grid modernization. ZBB and its power electronics subsidiary, Tier Electronics, LLC have developed a portfolio of integrated power management platforms that combine advanced power and energy controls plus energy storage to optimize renewable energy sources and conventional power inputs whether connected to the grid or not. Tier Electronics participates in the energy efficiency markets through their hybrid vehicle control systems, and power quality markets with their line of regulation solutions. Together, these platforms solve a wide range of electrical system challenges in global markets for utility, governmental, commercial, industrial and residential end customers. Founded in 1998, ZBB's platforms ensure optimal efficiencies today, while offering the flexibility to adapt and scale to future requirements. ZBB's corporate offices and production facilities are located in Menomonee Falls, WI, USA with offices also located in Perth, Western Australia. For more information go to


American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization dedicated to building a secure and prosperous America with clean, renewable energy. ACORE provides a common educational platform for a wide range of interests in the renewable energy community, focusing on technology, finance and policy. The organization convenes thought leadership forums and creates energy industry partnerships to communicate the economic, security and environmental benefits of renewable energy. For more information, go to

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