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Other Work

Power for tomorrow's tomorrow

Kirtland Resiliency Project

Well-designed spaces rely on the strength of their interconnected systems. Partnerships can sustain current systems, while building a pathway to the next systems of the future, ultimately defining how society interacts with them. That's the underpinning aim of The Gathering Space, to show how a support space can create a shift in both purpose and perception.

Testing limits and finding new sustainable standards of excellence are a vital part of the mission at Kirtland Air Force Base (KAFB), home of Sandia National Labs, the country's energy thinktank in Albuquerque, New Mexico. KAFB, in partnership with Emera Technologies and architectural firm Dekker Perich Sabatini, created The Gathering Space, a structure purpose-built to demonstrate how clean energy and technology innovation can shape new systems while supporting existing infrastructure as our world moves to surpass existing clean energy standards.

The Gathering Space structure is as vital as the technology it supports. BlockEnergy by Emera Technologies is the world's first, modular and scalable clean power system built to work with the utilities of today as they transition toward the clean power future of tomorrow. Military-proven, BlockEnergy is delivering the new standard for safety and resiliency on the Kirtland Resiliency Project – right now. Culminating in the development of the most advanced, distributed local power available for cities, businesses, and neighborhoods.

Designed as a net-positive energy high-performance building, the team from Dekker Perich Sabatini maximized the Gathering Space's solar capacity with a simple, single slope roof for optimum energy exposure as well as an exposed solar patio canopy to promote awareness and expand the building's solar array. All integrated into a larger secure, resilient microgrid platform consisting of 100kW solar and 200kW/200kWh battery storage in the Kirtland Resiliency Project. Out front, two EV chargers are hooked-up to the microgrid controls for flexible demand-side management and testing.

The east-facing, covered outdoor space also promotes building resiliency by protecting the main entrance from strong seasonal winds from the Tijeras Canyon, often reaching speeds greater than 80 mph – as seen in the Dekker Perich Sabatini Building Performance Wind Analysis.

Inside, the display wall is where the future of local, networked energy grids come alive. LED-wall screens feature the digital twin of the BlockEnergy modular microgrid system showing the generation, storage, and exchange of renewable power of The Gathering Space and all the local buildings interconnected to the local microgrid system - in real-time, autonomously. The Gathering Space functions as a support space for the BlockEnergy system and allows for real-time system testing. Emera Technologies has a Collaborative Research and Development Agreement with Sandia National Labs, which allows this demonstration microgrid to be connected to assets at Sandia's Photovoltaic Systems Evaluation Lab and the Distributed Energy Technologies Lab. Sandia researchers use these connections to test the resilience of the BlockEnergy system under extreme conditions such as lightning, fault conditions, and a sudden loss of grid power.

The Gathering Space will be transitioned to 100% DC power in the near future – helping pave the way toward the future of clean energy, today.

Kirtland Airforce Base

Albuquerque, NM

Under 10,000 sf


Beyond the Building

  • Building Performance
  • Community Benefit
  • Experience Redefined
  • Mission Support
  • Sustainability
  • Technology Modernization


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