Work Begins on First of 6 Microgrids to Power Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

PEARL will comprise a 1.5-megawatts of solar photovoltaic integration, 500 kilowatt-hours of battery storage and the ability to restore 1MW of power with less than a 10 percent voltage drop.
PEARL microgrid rendering. Image courtesy of Burns & McDonnell

Burns & McDonnell, an engineering, architecture and construction firm, will design and build the Pacific Energy Assurance and Renewables Laboratory at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu. The microgrid project will be developed in collaboration with the Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies, the Air Force Research Laboratory, the National Guard Bureau, Hawaii Air National Guard and the Naval Facilities Command.

This innovative facility will provide energy assurance and resiliency for the Hawaii Air National Grid and will serve as a renewable energy demonstration laboratory and microgrid prototype for the Air Force, Department of Defense and the state of Hawaii. In addition, it will help strengthen grid resiliency and help meet the state’s goal of being powered 100 percent by renewable energy by 2045.

The PEARL project is the first of six planned microgrids; its development phase started in 2016. The construction phase is slated for completion in August 2020. Burns & McDonnell received an $8.3 million grant from the Hawaii Technology Development Corp. for its development. Once finalized, it will consist of a 1.5-megawatts of solar photovoltaic integration, 500 kilowatt-hours of battery storage and the ability to restore 1MW of power promptly with less than a 10 percent voltage drop.