The Department of Defense (DoD) Installation Energy Test Bed sought demonstration projects of innovative technologies and approaches to improve the energy resilience on military installations. As defined in 10 U.S.C. § 101(e), energy resilience means the ability to avoid, prepare for, minimize, adapt to, and recover from anticipated and unanticipated energy disruptions in order to ensure energy availability and reliability sufficient to provide for mission assurance and readiness, including mission essential operations related to readiness, and to execute or rapidly reestablish mission essential requirements.
Installations have a wide variety of energy systems that deliver electrical and thermal energy to power critical missions, fuel industrial processes, and power facilities and vehicles. Most installations rely on the commercial electrical grid for primary power and building-level diesel generators and uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) for back-up power to serve critical loads. More frequent and stronger natural disasters and threats to the commercial electric grid require new solutions to improve energy resilience and meet the energy requirements for mission assurance. ESTCP sought demonstrations of innovative solutions to improve energy resilience that have broad application across military installations. Of particular interest were solutions that:
- Provide innovative on-base thermal energy or electric power generation that is carbon pollution-free, provide increased resiliency through higher efficiency, and/or is independent of external supplies. Technologies should be cost competitive or show a viable path to cost competitiveness with current alternatives.
- Provide a method for performing analysis of energy resilience solutions to inform design or investment decisions. Tools or approaches should be able to generate results from readily available data and provide decision makers with information on project impact and life cycle cost.
- Address the dependency of zero-emission vehicles on a secure and reliable supply of electricity or zero-emission fuel.
- Provide advanced load management approaches to support mission functions during a grid outage (i.e., when islanded) and provide additional revenue when grid tied. Load shedding decisions must be based on the priority of mission requirements as well as their anticipated impacts.
- Are informed by gaps and needs identified by the Installation Energy Plans and/or Installation Resilience Plans.
- Offer innovative business models for financing resilience improvements at installations.
Proposals that include modifying or integrating with existing assets (e.g., PV array, privatized utility) that are owned or operated by non-DoD entities should include the asset owner/operator on the project team. Proposals that address only unique site-specific needs or seek to demonstrate mature microgrid technologies will not be considered responsive to the intent of this solicitation.
Successful technologies and solutions demonstrating increased energy resilience and reduced dependence on off-base supplies will help the DoD build resilient and efficient installations in the future. The demonstrated solutions will inform DoD installations in their installation assessment and resilience planning activities and provide technologies/solutions that could meet the gaps/needs identified in their installation energy plans and installation resilience plans.
Resilient energy systems enable the Department’s facilities, weapon systems, and equipment to perform mission-critical functions when the commercial grid and other off-base energy resources are unavailable. Currently, most installations rely on the commercial electrical grid for primary power and building-level diesel generators and uninterruptable power supplies (UPS) for back-up power to serve critical loads. Commercial electric grids can be disrupted by natural hazards, physical attacks, cyberattacks and other events, all of which can impact the supply to electrical power to DoD installations.
Energy resilience can be enhanced in a variety of ways, including through implementation of technology, policies, training, and planning. The Department is working to improve energy resilience through each of these activities and by leveraging data to inform decisions and identify priority opportunities. Improving the resilience of our energy systems is a continuous process that starts with mission owners identifying requirements, then infrastructure stakeholders developing solutions that consider natural and manmade hazards that impose risk to the system, and the process repeats as requirements and conditions change. Through Executive Order 14057, the White House has issued new requirements for carbon emissions reductions that will have an impact on the Department’s energy systems. In particular, it is expected that a large portion of the non-tactical vehicle fleet will transition to battery-electric vehicles to meet the requirement of achieving 100% zero-emission vehicle acquisitions by 2035. This will undoubtedly increase the demand for electricity both within our installations and on the commercial grid more broadly. Additionally, many of the non-tactical vehicles play a vital role in operations within the installation and will need a reliable source of energy to recharge during an extended grid outage.
All of these requirements, old and new, require solutions that are highly reliable, resilient to various natural and manmade threats and are sensitive to the competing demands on the Department’s budget. New technologies, improvements to design and operations of our energy systems, better planning tools that leverage more or better data, more effective training and other solutions are needed to continuously improve the resilience of our energy systems that enable our military capability.