The Department of Defense Installation Energy Test Bed sought demonstration projects of innovative technologies and processes to improve the performance and reduce the cost of providing 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.
Installations have a wide variety of energy systems that deliver electrical and thermal energy to power critical missions, fuel industrial processes, and power and condition facilities. Most installations rely on the commercial electrical grid for primary power, natural gas for thermal energy, and building-level diesel generators and uninterruptable power supplies for back- up power to serve critical loads. Microgrids also can provide improved resiliency and are beginning to be deployed across the DoD. 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. During long duration outages, the potential for disruption in other supplies also greatly increases. ESTCP sought demonstrations that contributed to energy resilience that would have broad application across military installations worldwide. Of particular interest were pilots and demonstrations that addressed the following issues:
Other innovative technologies that would enhance energy security on their own or through integration with a microgrid were also of interest. Proposals for building microgrid systems and testing common renewable energy generation assets were not of interest. Proposals that addressed only unique site-specific needs or sought to demonstrate mature technologies were not considered responsive to the intent of this solicitation.
The following projects were funded in 2022. Project overviews will appear below as they posted to the website.
The installation energy priority of the Department of Defense is to ensure mission readiness by pursuing energy resilience. Energy resilience enables the Department’s weapons platforms, facilities, equipment, and personnel to perform critical missions when the commercial grid and other off-base energy resources are unavailable. Significant improvements through deployment of microgrids, on-site distributed energy resources, and other technologies have been made. But the capital and long-term sustainment costs of energy resilience solutions still represent a significant issue. Finding technologies and approaches that lower these costs and provide highly reliable and securely available energy for long duration grid outages remains a priority. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 highlighted the important of on-base energy resources and reducing the DoD’s dependence on off-base resources.