Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Latest GAO Report Hits DOD Hard on Grid Reliance

Sometimes it seems like there's just too much on the DOD's plate:
  • having to simultaneously kill people and build trust with communities
  • with too many risks to track and mitigate, and 
  • too many jobs to be done by too few folks ...
  • in an increasingly constrained budgetary environment
  • and I'm not even going to mention EMP (woops)
Now comes GAO telling Congress and DOD that the Department is asleep at the wheel when it comes to plans and preparation for extended power outages in CONUS and overseas. Here's a couple of excerpts from the summary:
DOD’s most critical assets are vulnerable to disruptions in electrical power supplies, but DOD lacks sufficient information to determine the full extent of the risks and vulnerabilities these assets face. All 34 of these most critical assets require electricity continuously to support their military missions, and 31 of them rely on commercial power grids—which the Defense Science Board Task Force on DOD Energy Strategy has characterized as increasingly fragile and vulnerable—as their primary source of electricity.
The 10 Defense Critical Infrastructure Program vulnerability assessments we reviewed did not explicitly consider assets’ vulnerabilities to longer-term (i.e., of up to several weeks’ duration) electrical power disruptions on a mission-specific basis, as DOD has not developed explicit Defense Critical Infrastructure Program benchmarks for assessing electrical power vulnerabilities associated with longer-term electrical power disruptions.
Sounds to me like this necessary work could piggyback nicely with efforts to prepare for and take advantage of new and emerging Smart Grid and microgrid capabilities. Somebody on that?  Hope so.

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