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Army National Guard Electric Power Resilience

Monday, July 28, 2014

What is it?

The Army Guard is pursuing electric power resilience through reduction of energy and water demand. The most secure electricity is that which is not used. The Guard includes contribution to resilience as a consideration when funding energy and water projects.

Resilience is a broad term referring to the ability to adapt to changing conditions and recover rapidly from disruptions. In terms of electric power, the Department of Defense defines resilience as “the necessary planning and capability to ensure [military installations] have available, reliable, and quality power to continuously accomplish DOD missions” in the face of power disruptions.

Why is this important to the Army?

Domestic installations are dependent on the grid for 99 percent of power demand. Increasing power insecurity of the aging commercial grid threatens Army operations. Electric power resilience is critical not only to support current operations, but also to meet future demands. As stated in the 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review, increasingly frequent extreme weather events are expected to expand the number of Defense Support for Civil Authorities missions – which will fall largely to the Guard – increasing the likelihood of power disruptions. Secure, uninterrupted access to electric power is and will continue be vital to mission success.

What has the Army National Guard done?

Many ARNG installations generate on-site renewable energy, which reduces electric power vulnerability. For critical electric power demand that cannot be shed or met with renewable energy that can operate off-grid, the ARNG uses diesel generators for back-up power. All ARNG installations participated in the DOD-wide Electric Power Resilience Review (EPRR), which assessed compliance with existing energy security policies and identified electric power vulnerabilities.

What efforts does the Army National Guard plan to continue in the future?

The ARNG is moving away from reliance solely on fossil-fueled back-up generators toward a more robust electric power resilience strategy. By pairing renewable energy with microgrid technologies and energy storage to locally store and distribute renewable energy, renewables will supply power to an increasing number of critical power loads. The New Jersey and Minnesota ARNG are exploring the possibility of using microgrids in conjunction with renewable energy generation. Working off of the initial results from the EPRR, states will establish energy security working groups, develop or update energy security plans, and identify solutions to mitigate vulnerabilities. In addition, ARNG Installations Division is amending the ARNG Facilities Management Program Guidance to include electric power resilience.


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