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While many military installations across the nation concern themselves more and more with energy efficiency, Naval District Washington (NDW) is taking a step further by utilizing innovative technology to improve energy efficiency with the implementation of its Smart Grid Pilot Program.

The Navy’s Smart Grid Pilot is comprised of interconnected technologies that collectively intelligently monitor, predict, control, and respond to building and utility management systems. Using Smart Grid technologies, the Navy can adjust energy distribution and controls to lower cost and divert energy to power critical assets during an emergency.

“In fiscal year 2012, OPNAV funded the NDW smart grid pilot activity with the goal of establishing foundational capabilities to enable the energy mandates in a cyber-secure fashion,” said Rear Adm. David Boone, director, Shore Readiness (OPNAV N46). “They have accomplished the development of the smart grid industrial control architecture that has been tested, validated and certified by fleet cyber command for Department of the Navy use. I’m excited about the progress that the NDW Pilot has made in achieving their goals.”

The requirements of the NDW Smart Grid Program are to reduce cost and energy consumption, as well as support mission assurance. The core of Smart Grid is a cyber-secure command and control infrastructure for utility and building systems and is a modernized integration of utilities and energy industrial control systems and its infrastructure.

“The NDW Smart Grid Pilot will provide information supporting command and control of shore operations including facility, utility, security, and space management enabling the Navy to meet its shore energy goals,” said Jody Davenport, NDW Smart Grid Pilot Program manager. “NDW Smart Grid will enable the Navy to develop policies to enable the most cost-effective approach to phased Navy-wide enterprise implementation, to include determination of total ownership costs and efficiency gains to inform future budget cycles.”

Davenport explained that within NDW, the Smart Grid Pilot Team initially pilots a technology leveraging existing assets and identifying new opportunities. Independent testing and fleet cyber accreditation ensure a clean solution that can be competitive in the industry for a commercial off-the-shelf acquisition and is part of the pilot process. Once these capabilities have been piloted, the team deploys them throughout the region to validate the scalability and interoperability and collect data to support a return on investment and savings cost.

These projects have already seen success throughout the region, said Davenport, with more expected.

“NDW currently has approximately 90 active projects focused on building the foundational capabilities of the secure network platform, security system integration, advanced metering infrastructure and connectivity, industrial control systems and command and control elements,” said Davenport. “Additionally, the Pilot has competed and won four projects supported by the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program [ESTCP]. For FY13, the Pilot was selected for two out of 22 selected ESTCPs from the 468 proposals submitted by private firms, universities, and federal agencies. As projects mature, advanced capabilities can be piloted and continue to inform the Navy enterprise.”

Davenport said the output of the NDW Smart Grid is a cyber-secure environment that provides enables visibility and control of energy distribution and demand at the individual building, installation, and regional levels while also assuring the physical security of critical assets. NDW Smart Grid will affect existing Navy investments in systems such as the Public Safety Network, Shore Sensor System Platform Network, Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Direct Digital Controls systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems, Virtual Perimeter Monitoring System, Navy Emergency Response Management System, and base/building access controls systems to provide an accredited and horizontally integrated environment to enable compliance with federal and Navy mandates.

“The interconnection of these technologies will provide decision makers with the capability to intelligently monitor, predict, respond to, and control facility building and utility management systems,” said Davenport.

This story is part one of a four-part series on the NDW Smart Grid Pilot Program.