REPORT: Power Begins At Home

Noblis Chief Scientist contributes to Pew Charitable Trust-commissioned report on assured energy for U.S. military bases

The DoD’s installations are the backbone of the American military. These installations include 284,000 buildings and 2 billion square feet of space. They rely on energy to function—they consumed 1 percent of the United States’ total energy consumption, at a cost of $4 billion. U.S. military bases support the maintenance and deployment of weapons systems and the training and mobilization of combat forces, and increasingly provide direct support for combat operations and serve as staging platforms for humanitarian and homeland defense missions. This is why energy is lifeblood of American military bases.

In a report entitled “Power Begins at Home: Assured Energy for U.S. Military Bases,” conducted by Noblis, Inc. and commissioned by The Pew Charitable Trusts, the issue of energy security on military bases is examined. This report answers the question of what DoD can do to ensure that military bases have the power they need to sustain critical functions during long-term outages.

The report includes an analysis of standalone generators, the DoD’s current strategy for emergency backup power, and offers an alternative strategy of how the DoD can utilize large-scale microgrids to increase energy security. A detailed comparison is provided of the costs and performance of microgrids and the current strategy under different market conditions and demonstrates the advantages of microgrids.

The report also examines the optimal mechanisms to implement microgrids and the role of renewable energy and efficiency. It concludes by answering these questions: Should the DoD “put a value on energy security?” and “how much energy should DoD buy?”

“Power Begins at Home” was based on extensive analysis of DoD’s energy resources, and benefitted tremendously from information and insights provided by the Office of the Secretary Defense; the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps; and contacts at individual installations.

To read the full report, click here.