By AUDREY McAVOY
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AP) - The Air Force unit that defends Hawaii skies will get experimental energy technology that uses trash to generate power and relies on its own small electrical grid. The aim is to keep the base operating if a bomb, cyberattack or natural disaster knocks out the local utility.
The Air Force Research Laboratory is spending $6.8 million on the facility that will produce electricity for the Hawaii Air National Guard unit that flies F-22s, the nation's most advanced fighter jet.
Under the plan, the facility and accompanying microgrid would be able to break off and operate independently from the local utility.
The project will mark one of the first such uses of a microgrid on an Air Force base and the largest test yet of the trash-to-power system being eyed by the Hawaii facility. The trash system is being tested on a small scale in Illinois.