Readiness exercise tests Fort Moore’s energy resilience

By Alexander Gago, Fort Moore Public AffairsJanuary 22, 2024

Readiness exercise tests Fort Moore’s energy resilience
Justin Royer, a utility specialist with Fort Moore's Directorate of Public Works, points out which main post circuit would power up first using a microgrid generator on a map, during a rehearsal of concept drill Jan. 9, 2024. (Photo Credit: U.S. Army photo by Josef Cole, Public Affairs Specialist) VIEW ORIGINAL

FORT MOORE, Ga. – Fort Moore officials gathered at the emergency operations center to assess the installation's ability to achieve mission objectives during an energy resilience readiness exercise on post Jan. 12.

"We shut down the transmission feed for the main post power grid to evaluate the energy resilience and security throughout the main post and assess microgrid capability to perform critical missions without access to off-site energy resources," said Justin Royer, Directorate of Public Works utility specialist.

Royer explained how the exercise evaluates whether an installation can maintain a state of mission readiness during a main post power outage.

“This is an Army-directed exercise that evaluated the installation’s emergency and microgrid energy generation systems, critical infrastructure, and equipment,” said Royer. “The exercise allows leaders to assess capabilities required to support critical missions on the installation.”

Microgrids are small-scale electrical networks that operate independently or in tandem with large-scale electrical supplies to generate electricity for specific facilities, enabling installations to become self-sufficient during emergencies in which there could be a widespread power loss.

The power generation portion of the microgrid node consists of 15 natural-gas generators, comprised of four generator groups with a total capacity of 9.7 megawatts.

“We now have the ability to supply the installation with 9.7 megawatts of power in the event of a major electrical outage,” said Royer.

An important piece of the power grid is the microgrid distribution automation center, which acts as the nerve center of the system, giving the grid the ability to self-heal by using analytics to pinpoint the segment where the fault is occurring.

“In addition to the microgrid, key facilities also have energy resilience built-in by having standby generators wired into the facilities,” said Royer.

John Nolt, chief of plans and operations, said the EOC is the focal point of Fort Moore's all-hazards mission command systems during disasters and emergencies.

"Whenever Fort Moore activates the EOC, it is always a great opportunity for the crisis action team to learn and grow in supporting the community,” said Nolt. "As with any all-hazard event, it is essential not to wait until you are in a crisis to come up with a plan, and that is why Fort Moore routinely exercises the installation's emergency management plan."

Nolt said the planning efforts were key to the success of the exercise and required thorough coordination between the EOC planning team, installation leadership, mission tenants, stakeholders, and utility partners.