SPIDERS JCTD Smart Cyber-Secure Microgrids

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Office of the Secretary of Defense Recognizes SPIDERS Project with 2015 JCTD "TEAM OF THE YEAR" Award

Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) was a groundbreaking program to bolster the cyber security and energy efficiency of U.S. military installations and transfer the knowhow to non-military critical infrastructure.

Sponsored by U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Energy's Federal Energy Management Program and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), SPIDERS JCTD focused on four critical requirements needed to demonstrate enhanced electrical power surety for national security: 

  • Protect task critical assets from loss of power due to cyber-attack
  • Sustain critical military operations during prolonged power outages
  • Integrate renewable and other distributed energy generation concepts to power critical military assets in times of emergency
  • Manage electrical power installation and consumption efficiency to reduce petroleum demand, carbon "boot print," and cost. 

SPIDERS JCTD was a three-phase effort to demonstrate a cyber-secure microgrid architecture with integration of smart grid technologies, distributed and renewable generation, and energy storage on military installations for enhanced mission assurance. 

This research comes at a time when renewable energy, an important component of a smart cyber-secure microgrid strategy, is shown to be increasingly cost competitive with conventional energy resources. 


Each phase of the SPIDERS JCTD program takes place at a different site with progressively more complex and larger scopes of execution. 

  • Phase 1 was a single circuit demonstration of a cyber-secure microgrid for waste water treatment at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. 

  • Phase 2 was a multi-building demonstration at Fort Carson, Colorado. It included integration of a large solar photovoltaic (PV) array and microgrid connected electric trucks. Read the SPIDERS Phase 2 Fort Carson Technology Transition Consolidated Report

  • Phase 3 at Camp Smith, Hawaii, was DOD’s first installation-wide microgrid. The Camp Smith microgrid provides for full operation of the base during an extended electrical outage with cyber-attack defense baked into the design.

Read the SPIDERS Technology Transition Final Public Report.


The SPIDERS JCTD program was launched in response to growing concern about the vulnerability of military energy infrastructure to natural disasters and computer-borne cyberattacks, which could impact the grid. It signals a new era in thinking with regard to infrastructure resiliency, as the technology being demonstrated may be applied to water systems, oil and gas pipelines, transportation systems, hospitals, emergency systems, and critical industrial applications. 

SPIDERS JCTD traces back to 2008, when the Defense Science Board Task Force on DOD Energy Strategy issued the report "More Fight-Less Fuel.” The Task Force concluded that DOD faces two primary energy challenges: unnecessarily high battlespace fuel demand, and dependence of military installations upon vulnerable commercial power grids, placing critical military and homeland defense missions at risk.

SPIDERS JCTD Participants

SPIDERS JCTD included participation from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Naval Facilities Engineering Command, the U.S. Army Tank and Automotive Research and Development Engineering Center, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and a DHS Industrial Control Systems Cyber Team.