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WASHINGTON (February 17, 2022) — The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners recently released a new white paper on defense energy resilience, the Department of Energy’s defense critical electric infrastructure program and opportunities to enhance productive partnerships among state utility regulators, utilities and critical facilities. This publication was developed for NARUC’s Center for Partnerships and Innovation by Converge Strategies, a team of experts who work with the military, emergency management and energy sectors to strengthen the energy resilience of critical infrastructure.
The white paper, Regulatory Considerations for Utility Investments in Defense Energy Resilience, provides background on U.S. Department of Defense energy resilience policy, summarizes the drivers for state utility regulator-utility-military cooperation and presents case studies of successful resilience partnerships. Included in the paper are strategies for proactive engagement with defense energy resilience stakeholders.
“DoD’s critical missions around the world rely on electric utilities here at home, and DoD experiences hundreds of power outages each year. State regulators are actively exploring how utilities can support national security. While there are some great examples of partnership, important questions on how best to invest in defense energy resilience remain,” said Converge Strategies Co-founder and Principal Wilson Rickerson.
State utility regulators are asked increasingly to consider utility investments in defense energy resilience. DoD facilities are increasingly vulnerable to electricity interruptions and are heavily dependent on the civilian grid. The authors outline the ample opportunities for state public utility commissions to foster collaboration with federal and state-level defense communities to enhance these types of energy resilience-related investments that are essential to ensuring vital national security interests.
“This white paper introduces state regulators to defense energy resilience topics and highlights opportunities for collaboration among all stakeholders including public utility commissions, private utility companies, and the defense community customers they serve,” said CPI Deputy Director Lynn Costantini. “Ensuring the delivery of essential utility services to facilities responsible for our national defense requires that we all work together. This paper provides insights into how we can engage proactively on these important topics.”
An example of this type of engagement profiled in the paper is the collaboration between Davis-Monthan Air Force Base and Tucson Electric Power. Together, they are focused on upgrading the installation’s electrical service through a joint planning process to meet the needs of the installation and the surrounding communities.
“Building alignment around our shared energy goals will help us achieve effective and efficient outcomes for our system and our customers. Taking the time to have those deeper conversations to shape this plan was an outgrowth of the strong and lasting partnership we’ve developed over time,” said Ryan Anderson, senior key account manager with TEP.
“Our joint working group was very successful. We developed a plan that was mutually beneficial, which ensured that the Patriot Substation was planned for the right location,” said Nick Germanos, deputy base civil engineer at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. “Our comprehensive and technical analysis over an eight-month period produced an objective that would substantially improve mission assurance, comply with both Air Force Energy and DoD directives and do so in a cost-effective manner. We are so proud of this vital effort and thank TEP for its amazing support.”
To dive deeper into the findings and case studies, visit https://pubs.naruc.org/pub/9931AF59-1866-DAAC-99FB-17BF932AECF5.
NARUC will host a webinar on February 25, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. (ET) that details key takeaways from the white paper and offers insights into future work in the defense energy resilience space. Register at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BeoNDIarQrSr8Fr1CJDBzg.
NARUC is a non-profit organization founded in 1889 whose members include the governmental agencies that are engaged in the regulation of utilities and carriers in the fifty states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. NARUC’s member agencies regulate telecommunications, energy, and water utilities. NARUC represents the interests of state public utility commissions before the three branches of the federal government.
About Converge Strategies, LLC
Converge Strategies, LLC (CSL) is a consulting company focused on the intersection of clean energy, resilience, and national security. CSL works with civilian and military partners to develop new approaches to energy resilience policy and planning in the face of rapidly evolving threats, vulnerable infrastructure, and determined adversaries.