Power the Fight: Capturing Smart Microgrid Potential for DoD Installation Energy Security

Nearly 99% of the more than 500 DoD installations nationwide are dependent on the commercial grid for power.

While the U.S. commercial grid is reliable and resilient, power outages have occurred with greater frequency in the last decade, leaving installations increasingly susceptible to power loss and mission disruption. Complicating this problem, many installations are located at the outer reaches of local transmission and distribution networks, leaving those installations more vulnerable to power interruption, with longer recovery times.

Fixed military installations are vital to our nation’s security. Loss of their full capabilities due to outages would diminish our nation’s warfighting potential in a crisis. Installations, historically springboards for warfighter deployment, have increasingly become command centers for essential support operations, as well as staging areas for critical humanitarian and homeland defense missions. If an installation loses power today, this would not be a merely local event. Global missions might also be strained.

In 2008, the Defense Science Board highlighted the vulnerability of fixed military installations on an aging commercial grid in a seminal report on energy, More Fight—Less Fuel. Increasingly, military planners seeking to lessen this national security vulnerability are turning to microgrids.

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