Pentagon eyes "cyber secure" microgrid

The Pentagon is reportedly eyeing the creation of a “cyber secure” microgrid that will tap energy from public generators, alongside alternative and renewable energy sources.

According to the New York Times, the grid is expected to power military facilities using existing commercial infrastructure, while allowing base commanders to draw power from alternative, secure sources when necessary. 

“You could think of SPIDER (Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security) as a buffet of options that are all being synchronized through a demand-side cyber secure system,” Bill Waugaman, the national labs liaison to the US Northern Command, told the NYT

“[Because], right now, here’s the problem – there is no energy storage and no renewable energy generation. [So], when a natural disaster or a cyber attack knocks out power, all alternative energy sources are taken offline.”

The first SPIDER-based microgrid – which will support a peak load of approximately 10 megawatts – is slated to switch on in 2013 at Hawaii’s Camp Smith.

Power will be generated from multiple sources, including hybrid vehicles, traditional diesel generators, photovoltaic solar power and a hydrogen fuel cell.