A federal agency's pathway to energy resilience can be achieved by partnering with its serving utility. Agencies and utilities share remarkably similar goals in the pursuit of energy resilience and security.
Authorizing legislation allows federal agencies to take advantage of incentives and services offered by local distribution utilities to address the unique needs of the facilities these utilities serve.
Utility energy service contracts and utility service contracts are flexible, proven mechanisms for contracting with serving utilities and are available to all federal agencies.
Six Steps to Meeting Energy Resilience Goals with Utility Partners
Federal agencies can take the following steps in partnering with their utility to reach their energy resilience goals.
1. Increase Reliability
An overall plan for achieving energy resilience relies on implementing measures to increase reliability. Converting existing overhead distribution lines to underground and installing redundant feeds from alternate substations and electric distribution loops for reducing outage times are just the beginning.
2. Reduce System Loads
Energy efficiency minimizes the cost and amount of energy used and leaves more money available for instituting resilience strategies. Utilities possess invaluable expertise and experience in optimizing energy efficiency and lowering demand costs.
3. Install Distributed Energy Systems
Renewable energy, or distributed energy, generation is the next step. Whether it is solar, wind, fuel cells or other forms of distributed energy generation, the utility can work with an agency to help it choose what is most appropriate for its site.
4. Incorporate Microgrids
Microgrids, or independent electrical generation and distribution systems, are important components of overall energy resilience plans. The local utility may provide an agency with a microgrid analysis or install, own, and operate the microgrid.
5. Energy Storage
Storing energy helps to meet power required during peak load and helps control the power output of renewable energy systems. Energy storage is also the key to balancing microgrids.
6. Increase Cybersecurity
Utilities are experienced in protecting the macrogrid from attacks and major catastrophes. They are also able to work with a federal agency to understand and help with implementation of the agency’s cybersecurity needs and objectives, incorporating controls that will identify, protect, detect, respond to and recover mission critical systems.