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Senate Committee Endorses Use of Microgrids

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  • May 24, 2012
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The Defense Department should consider the use of “cybersecure” microgrid technologies to promote energy security, according to the report from the Senate Appropriations Committee accompanying the fiscal 2013 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill.

The committee said it is “impressed” with the progress DOD has made in deploying microgrids to promote energy independence and protect mission critical assets through the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security program. The lawmakers are concerned, however, that most installations are dependent on commercial grids, which could potentially compromise the security and access to reliable supplies of energy needed to meet mission essential requirements.

Microgrids allow installations to continue operating in the event of grid failure.

To keep tabs on the military’s effort to test microgrids, the committee directs DOD to submit a report within six months after the spending bill is enacted covering:

  • the status of microgrid demonstrations currently deployed domestically;
  • the department’s plan to secure energy supplied to installations to meet mission essential requirements; and
  • the potential benefits of the widespread use of secure microgrid technology on domestic military installations.

The committee approved the milcon spending measure Tuesday. The text of the bill, S. 3215, and committee report, S. Rpt. 112-168, will be available from Thomas shortly.

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