US Department of Defense Issues RFP for Microgrids

Jan. 25, 2019
The US Department of Defense wants to reduce costs and speed time to install military microgrids, so is seeking demonstration projects through a newly issued request for proposals (RFP).

The US Department of Defense wants to reduce costs and speed time to install military microgrids, so is seeking demonstration projects via a newly issued request for proposals (RFP).

Through its Installation Energy Test Bed, the defense department intends to fund multiple projects that speed microgrid design, simplify component and system integration, and accommodate expansion of military microgrids.

Pre-proposals are due 2 pm ET, March 7, 2019. The defense department anticipates seeking full proposals in August and announcing winners in October. Under this schedule, project construction would begin in Spring 2020.

The military is seeking microgrid configurations that take into consideration characteristics of military bases. For example, as the RFP notes, military bases are “neither clean slates nor are they monolithic” when it comes to energy infrastructure.

Many already have invested extensively in generation assets, distribution systems, substations, load configurations, storage, metering and other energy infrastructure.

Further, energy loads may be distributed throughout the base or grouped together.

And a base’s energy needs may change with new missions. So a microgrid configuration may change over time.

Review of RFP

Some of the winning projects may be built at military bases, but the RFP envisions most being developed at test facilities. Projects will be selected through a multi-stage review process, including a brief pre-proposal, a full proposal, and an oral presentation.

Join us at Microgrid 2019: Shaping the New Electric Grid for a tour of the innovative microgrid at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California.

The RFP seeks technologies that demontrate the ability to:

  • Network multiple microgrids together using advanced monitoring, control, and communication technologies
  • Cost-effectively implement a scalable microgrid from ground up or facilitate integration of additional critical loads, generation, and storage assets into an existing microgrid
  • Cost-effectively exploit legacy generation assets and modify building load configuration in response to changing missions
  • Simplify the design process

The contact for the RFP is: Tim Tetreault, program manager for installation energy & water, Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) 571-372-6397, [email protected]. The RFP is available on on the ESTCP site

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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