American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) FEMP Technical Assistance U.S. Army – Project 214 Analysis of Regulations Associated with Implementation of a Rocky Mountain Secure Smart-Grid Page: 5 of 54
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The potential to utilize emerging smart-grid technologies along with indigenous
renewable and other resources to meet the emergency and other power needs of the
Department of Defense (DOD) facilities in Colorado and Wyoming is the underlying
premise of The United States Northern Command's (Northcom's) concept for a Rocky
Mountain Smart-grid. Northcom approached the Department of Energy's (DOE's)
Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) to request technical support to develop
this concept further to provide a basis for policies and plans going forward. This task
resulted from that request, as did tasks assigned to other organizations.
Northcom's secure smart-grid concept was premised on the concentration of military
facilities along the eastern edge of the Rock Mountains critical to national security and
defense (the Front Range facilities). Continuity of operations of all or portions of these
facilities requires a secure, reliable supply of power. Recent reports by DOD, including
the Defense Science Board (DSB) Energy Panel report, "More Fight, Less Fuel," and the
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), "High-Impact, Low-Frequency
Event Risk to the North American Bulk Power System" highlight the potential risk to the
civilian power infrastructure and consequently to military missions. In addition, these
reports indicate potential future threats, and hence power outages, may last far longer
than current emergency operating plans and facilities anticipate.
The core concept for Northcom's secure smart grid is the ability to use smart-grid
technologies to create a grid-within-a-grid that can provide power to critical military
facilities during a prolonged power outage. Northcom envisions a solution that utilizes
existing grid infrastructure to wheel power from secure power sources to mission critical
DOD facilities. In simple terms, during an emergency, existing energy infrastructure
would be reconfigured to provide power to DOD facilities on a priority basis, which may
require curtailment of power service to other customers. This "secure" grid would be
deployed using smart-grid technologies so that the switch over was essentially automatic.
Use of the commercial power grid in this manner presents a number of questions about
utility law and regulations and how they may help or hinder the development of a secure
smart grid. That is the primary focus of this task.
The approach taken in this task was to address three primary questions:
* Is there any potential for the concept?
* Is it possible to realize that potential?
* Is it practical to do so?
To address the legal and regulatory questions associated with Northcom's proposal it was
also necessary to consider technical and economic factors, although evaluation of those
issues was covered in tasks assigned to others by FEMP. Accordingly, limited analysis
of some of those issues is also included in this report. To the extent information from
other tasks was available it was incorporated in this analysis.
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Warwick, William M. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) FEMP Technical Assistance U.S. Army – Project 214 Analysis of Regulations Associated with Implementation of a Rocky Mountain Secure Smart-Grid, report, September 30, 2010; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832460/m1/5/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.