The growth potential for the US military microgrid market is anticipated to result in upwards of 54.8 MW in total capacity by 2018, according to a new analysis by Red Mountain Insights.

America’s Defense Department (DoD) is the largest single global consumer of petroleum, and its military operations comprise the largest demand for all forms of energy. For example, the report notes that the DoD moves about 50 million gallons of fuel monthly in Afghanistan, much of which is for on-site power generation. The fuel powers more than 15,000 generators in Afghanistan alone.

However, use of military microgrid is also expected to improve energy efficiency and accelerate the integration of various renewable energy resources, potentially cutting fuel transportation and use by as much as 50%.

The Department of Defense is already working on establishing a network of independent microgrids that integrate distributed renewable generation, electric vehicles, and demand response at its bases and according to the Secretary of Defense, more than 40 military bases either have operating microgrids, planned microgrids, or have conducted studies of microgrid technologies. The DoD also has 600 forward operating bases (FOBs) and is investigating the deployment of mobile microgrids in Afghanistan, the report notes.