Thursday, January 23, 2014

Announcing a Blogging Slowdown as a New Energy and Security Business is Born

Dear Reader,

You may have noticed the number of posts has tapered off lately on the DOD Energy Blog. I've got to tell you that it's not from lack of interest or diminished activity in our space ... far from it.

Rather, since I departed IBM last September I've been working overtime putting my consulting business together. I've now reached the point where my focus is set, my offerings are defined, and my first partners and customers have emerged.

That means the taxiing period is over and it's time to push the throttle all the way forward and lift off ... hence, less blogging here, at least for a while.

The new business is called Bochman Advisors, and as you'll see when you visit the NEW SITE I just built, it immediately identifies its focus as "Strategic security consulting for the energy sector".  So far, this is working out as helping security companies get smarter on energy matters, and energy companies do better with security.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How to Make a Microgrid

I've been reading about, sometimes writing about, and occasionally extolling the many virtues of microgrids for some time now.  I even remember when, shortly after starting this blog, I was at a DOD energy gathering at NDU in 2008 or 2009 I think.

This perky bald guy in the row behind me said, kind of like in the movie The Graduate: "the future is microgrids." I could be wrong, but I believe that hairless wonder was Army O-6 and future DOD Energy Blogger Dan Nolan himself.  (I'll get my fact checker on that just in case.)

Since then we've copiously covered the SPIDERS program, as well as the great secure microgrid work at Naval District Washington.

Flash forward to yesterday when I came across Stuart McCafferty's "Top 6 Things to Consider When Developing Microgrids." The title says 6 but altogether it's more like 50 or 60 questions - born of his hands-on project management experience - you need to answer before moving forward.

Out of all of them the first two resonate the strongest with me:
Mission: What is the organization’s mission? How will a Microgrid help support the mission?
If your reasons for building a microgrid aren't directly related to supporting the mission, then what the heck are you doing?  Everyone's free to build their own microgrid after work on their own dime, but if you're building one at a DOD installation, then the connection to mission support has got to be a solid and not a dotted line.

After that the rest of the questions are about everything you need to think about beforehand to do it right.  For the full article click HERE.

And by the way, here's a piece on an early stage USMC microgrid project at Miramar Air Station in San Diego, where energy assurance is the major mission driver.

Image courtesy of National Defense Magazine

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

You're Invited to DOD "Power Surge" Energy Security Webinar

I have a one-time special good deal for you, DEB aficionados.  You are cordially invited to a briefing announcing the research findings from:

Power Surge: How the Department of Defense Leverages Private Resources to Enhance Energy Security and Save Money on U.S. Military Bases

Date: this Thursday, January 16, 2014
Time: 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. EST
Access: Click here to log into the webinar

Event Overview:
Deployment of clean energy technologies is accelerating across military installations operated by the U.S. Department of Defense, according to The Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew’s new report, “Power Surge,” examines how the military is using private-sector capabilities and harnessing innovative financing to obtain advanced energy systems. These projects are helping the Pentagon enhance mission assurance, save money, and meet congressional and executive branch requirements. The briefing will review the military’s progress on meetings its renewable energy and efficiency goals and how it’s funding the initiatives. The report will be available online starting 16 Jan 2014 at
  • Phyllis Cuttino, director, clean energy program, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary for the Army, energy and installations
  • Scott Provinse, director of government programs, Sun Edison
  • John Warner, former U.S. senator and secretary of the U.S. Navy, and senior adviser to the Pew project on national security, energy, and climate
I'll be online, and hope you can make it too!  ab

BTW, if the direct link does not work, go to and enter:
Meeting Number: 636 286 510, Password: Clean123

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

RFI Alert: USMC Tactical Energy Generation

We've posted on the great work of the Marines exFOB many times before, and I'm happy to be doing so once again to kick off 2014.

There's an RFI out for submissions on "Tactical Energy Harvesting," but rather than siphoning off watts from dormant humans encased in glass cocoons, the Marines want to leverage a fraction of the energy already generated by able bodied soldiers in motion. And there's another element related to capturing waste heat from generators.

Response due date is 21 February 2014.  I'd expect the good folks down the street from me in Natick to have some ideas up their sleeves on this, but I know there are many other sources for thinking along these lines as well.

For more details on this solicitation click HERE.

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