Federal funding has now been secured for the construction of a high-tech microgrid on the base of the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico.
That microgrid will see the utilization of a combination of solar array, natural gas generation, and a lithium ion battery system, all designed to power water wells on the 3,200 square mile testing range.
The $5.8 million in federal funding for the project is part of the much larger $733 billion 2020 National Defense Authorization Act approved by both the U.S. Senate and the House.
According to sources, the wells as currently used at the range are susceptible to power outages that could, in turn, leave the WSMR without drinkable potable water for any length of time.
A 2016 study looking at the WSMR’s water needs noted that there are nearly 7,000 people comprising the range’s workforce, with just under 1,700 people living at the range fulltime.
The largest military installation in the country, and spread over five New Mexico counties, the WSMR is managed by the U.S. Army and provides regular testing for missiles and rockets, as well as F-16 fighter jet training.
By Garry Boulard
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