Military, Utility Team up on New Power System for Yuma Base

A UH-1Y Venom helicopter with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 flies overhead at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Dec. 9, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/ Cpl. Uriel Avendano)
A UH-1Y Venom helicopter with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 267 flies overhead at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Dec. 9, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/ Cpl. Uriel Avendano)

YUMA, Ariz. -- The military and an Arizona utility are teaming up to provide the Marine Corps' air base in Yuma with a backup power supply.

The Navy Department and Arizona Public Safety Co. on Monday announced an agreement that will have APS develop a small-scale power grid to operate either independently or in conjunction with the area's main electric grid.

The so-called "microgrid" would use a diesel-powered facility to generate electricity that would normally provide power to APS' transmission lines to meet customers' peak needs.

However, if there's a grid outage, the 25-megawatt facility will provide power to the Marine Corps air base through a direct connection to its power distribution system.

Officials say APS expects to break ground on the project early next year and bring it on line in mid-2016.

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