DOD should work with the military services and defense agencies to study the viability of creating a central office dedicated to developing and implementing energy resilience projects, the Senate Armed Services Committee says in its committee report which accompanies the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill.
The committee says it is encouraged by the progress DOD has made to promote energy resilience at its installations with limited resources and personnel in light of the risk vulnerabilities to energy supplied to military installations pose to national security. “[However,] senior department officials continue to express concern to the committee on the ability of the department to keep pace with these threats and accelerate energy resilience project development due to resource constraints, the inability to retain and recruit qualified energy and technical professionals, and potential flexibility in existing authorities,” the report states. The report also emphasizes the committee’s support for the department’s reliance on third-party financing to pursue energy resilience by upgrading infrastructure, distribution systems, equipment, fuel and energy generation facilities.
The committee directs the department to consider in its study:
- a review of lessons learned from the services’ existing energy project execution offices;
- personnel skills, manning and resources needed to establish the office;
- the appropriate organizational reporting structure for such an office;
- strategy, mission and performance goals the office would pursue, including the scope of projects considered and funding strategy considerations;
- recruitment, retention and training strategy; and
- legislative authorities and other recommendations related to the establishment of an office to accelerate energy resilience project development.
The defense secretary is directed to brief the committee on the results of the review by March 1, 2019.
Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Kimberlyn Adams