The Air Force plans to use Beale AFB in northern California as a demonstration site to develop and deploy energy resilient technologies that can be deployed to other missions and installations across the service.
On Tuesday, the Resilient Energy Demonstration Initiative (REDI) team — composed of representatives from the Air Force and the Department of Energy’s national labs, and other outside experts — will meet with mission commanders at Beale and evaluate opportunities for energy projects. The team then will develop a plan to provide resilient, cost-effective, cleaner power to the installation, and begin implementing that plan by the end of the year, according to a press release.
After the initial plan is developed, the REDI team will issue a request for information to energy developers and partners to determine market interest and industry capabilities that could support Beale’s energy resiliency plan. The initiative is going forward as lawmakers and national security officials have voiced the need to build a more resilient electric grid, and mitigate cyber and physical threats to critical infrastructure.
“REDI will help ensure airmen can execute their missions, like remotely piloted aircraft, which rely on uninterrupted access to electricity,” said Miranda Ballentine, assistant secretary for installations, environment and energy. “Our team is looking at distributed energy resources, like renewable energy generation and energy storage, which can provide strategic energy agility for our airmen when they need it most,” Ballentine said.
Though Beale will be REDI’s lead project, the team will help shape other energy resilience projects across the Air Force.
“We selected Beale AFB because of its critical missions, the opportunity to collaborate with regional industry and government partners leading the way in resilient energy solutions, and the leadership and experience of Beale’s team,” said Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command.