Core Sector: Critical Infrastructure and Cybersecurity

Defense Community Partnerships

Critical defense facilities seek active partnerships with public utility commissions in their states and appreciate when commissions are engaged with the relevant energy policy agencies at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The U.S. DoD relies heavily on the commercial electric grid for service and any disruption in electricity may present a significant national security vulnerability. Both the DoD and DOE have robust energy resilience requirements that necessitate utility partnership and regulatory attention.

State utility regulators are increasingly being asked to consider utility investments in energy resilience for critical defense facilities, leading to several opportunities for significant civilian-military collaboration around defense energy resilience topics. NARUC CPI supports regulators’ approaches to building those partnerships and offers guidance on several topics including financing of defense energy resilience projects, confidential information sharing, and case studies for key civilian-military collaborations already in development. 

Defense community partnership activities are coordinated with the Committee on Critical Infrastructure, Staff Subcommittee on Critical Infrastructure, and Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability and Resilience

NARUC staff experts who support these activities include Lynn Costantini.

  • Defense Energy Resilience Key Resources Guide, October 2022
    The Defense Energy Resilience Key Resources Guide provides regulators with an overview of the main stakeholders and necessary actions at play in joint Department of Defense (DoD)-civilian critical electric infrastructure investments. This guide may serve as a framework for understanding what challenges tend to arise during defense energy resilience investments so that interested regulators can proactively develop the relationships and expertise that will help them support critical infrastructure energy customers in their state. This Key Resources Guide is intended to empower utility regulators to approach, engage, and work with the military installations in their jurisdictions on energy infrastructure projects. This guide also includes a list of additional resources that utility regulators can access if they are interested in learning more about DoD energy policy, the value of energy resilience, or examples of DoD-state collaboration.
  • Supporting FAQs for Commissioners on Defense Energy Resilience Topics, October 2022
    While writing the white paper “Regulatory Considerations for Utility Investments in Defense Energy Resilience”, NARUC identified several recurring challenges that state officials have faced in supporting defense energy resilience investments. NARUC drew on those challenges to develop a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) for state utility regulators and PUC staff and tested them with a group of current and former state utility regulators. This FAQ section is tailored for a PUC audience and captures questions that state utility regulators can ask themselves and regulated utilities when considering collaboration with defense communities. While the FAQs evolved through iterative review, the problem that undercuts them did not: that state regulators, utilities, and DoD officials rarely know how, when, and whom to engage on potential defense energy resilience investments.
  • Regulatory Considerations for Defense Energy Resilience white paper, October 2021
    State utility regulators are increasingly asked to consider utility investments in defense energy resilience, while federal law and policy call for robust levels of civilian-military collaboration. This white paper summarizes key Department of Defense (DoD) energy resilience policies and the current state of DoD vulnerability to electricity interruptions and corresponding threats to our national security posture. DoD energy resilience policies require robust partnerships among utilities, state regulators, and defense community customers. State utility regulators need to be prepared to carefully assess proposed utility investments in defense energy resilience as the DoD relies heavily on the civilian grid.
  • Report of the Task Force on Military Workforce Development: A 10-Step Guide, April 2018
    In 2017, NARUC established the Presidential Task Force on Military Workforce Development to review, assess and highlight best practices in both the utility and government sectors to help develop a capable workforce and create opportunities for veterans. Recognizing the imminent attrition of trained utility and public utility commission employees, NARUC identified veterans as a potential applicant pool for jobs in the utility field based on complementary military occupation specialties. This report summarizes the NARUC Presidential Task Force on Military Workforce Development’s efforts and creates a 10-step strategy guide to assist PUCs and utilities with recruiting and retaining a highly skilled veteran workforce.
  • Webinar: Regulatory Considerations for Utility Investments in Defense Energy Resilience, February 25, 2022
    This webinar focused on opportunities to enhance productive partnerships among state utility regulators, utilities, and critical defense facilities. Engagement with federal partners at the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of Defense (DoD) on defense critical electric infrastructure (DCEI) is vital to the U.S.’s national defense interests. Panelists spoke about several key regulatory takeaways with DCEI and how public utility commissions might become involved with work in this emerging space. Additional speakers highlighted the success of existing defense energy resilience projects in Hawaii as an exemplary model for other states to consider.

    Moderator: Lorraine Akiba, President/CEO, LHA Ventures

    • Jonathon Monken, Principal, Converge Strategies LLC
    • Chris Boyer, Project Solutions Director, AES
    • Brad Rockwell, Chief of Operations, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative 

    View recording

  • Webinar: Defense Community Partnerships on Energy Resilience & Opportunities for State Regulatory Partnership, March 4, 2022
    The Department of Defense (DoD) and each branch of the United States Armed Forces are increasingly prioritizing energy resilience and decarbonization goals in accordance with strategic directives from the Biden administration. The recent success of several high-profile energy resilience projects involving defense community customers, utility sectors, and state energy policymakers strongly advocate for continued engagement with state utility regulators as critical partners. This webinar featured several defense community leaders describing the strategic priorities of the armed forces and DoD regarding energy security. Speakers discussed how state public utility regulators can work closely with their regulated utilities and defense community customers to identify critical assets, develop collaborative partnerships, and enhance grid resilience vital to our national defense interests.

    Moderator: Meredith Pringle, Director, Converge Strategies, LLC


    • Kylee Moore, Program Director, U.S. Army Office of Energy Initiatives
    • Alexandra Young, Manager, Defense & Federal Customer Solutions, Edison Electric Institute
    • Ashley Sadorra, Principal Energy & Water Advisor, Concurrent Technologies Corporation | Formerly Acquisition Program Manager at U.S. Air Force 

    View recording

NARUC is grateful to the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) for funding projects addressing partnerships between state utility regulators, utilities, and defense community customers.