NCMS Project Spotlight: Minimizing the Air Force Vulnerability During Smart Grid Upgrades
NCMS and member Booz Allen Hamilton are increasing the U.S. Air Force’s awareness of energy solutions and areas in which new technologies can be incorporated into Air Force facilities. Their efforts support a thrust by the Air Force Secretariat to sustain and improve installations’ electric service.
Assuring reliable access to energy and increasing the resilience of energy infrastructure have become major priorities for the Assistant Secretary for Installations, Environment, and Energy (SAF IE) and the Office of Energy Assurance (AF OEA). The former voiced a commitment to support “mission assurance through energy assurance” worldwide. Both SAF IE and AF OEA have entered into a collaboration agreement with NCMS and Booz Allen Hamilton to support their vital mission of improving Air Force installations’ energy assurance posture.
Air Force installations rely on both on-site and adjacent infrastructure to provide power. Improving the resilience of that infrastructure is a complex process with many factors, including modernizing distribution, improving energy storage, reducing energy demand, transitioning toward distributed generation and cleaner power sources, and assuring access to power-system dependencies (such as water or fuel). Booz Allen Hamilton and NCMS have helped move the Air Force from developing energy assurance as a concept to exploring practical steps for realizing it and for engaging industry. Their accomplishments to date include:
- Providing the Air Force with tools for identifying and prioritizing installations for energy assurance projects,
- Preparing a grant proposal to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center in support of a Microgrid at Hanscom Air Force Base,
- Coordinating an industry day event attended by over 50 companies, all of which are potential energy assurance providers to the Air Force,
- And launching the AF OEA website.
The Air Force is now underway on scoping multiple projects in US based installations. Moving forward toward its first pilot energy assurance project, it will need to develop the proper acquisition tools to make execution possible; Booz Allen Hamilton and NCMS stand ready to collaborate with the government to meet the challenge.