Energy Management

Constellation’s Energy Security Leadership on Display across the Country

4 min read

Over the past year, I have participated in eight conferences and events that bring together subject matter experts from the public and private sectors to discuss the relationship between energy and security, methods of contracting, and the overall benefits of a holistic energy strategy approach. The discussions ultimately focused on the policy and regulatory enablers, hurdles to a comprehensive energy security strategy, and the intrinsic and extrinsic threats that face our energy system’s capability to serve critical load. 

These conversations provide the framework to explore areas of cooperation, sources of funding and opportunities for innovation to help solve these problems. The conferences have provided key insights into the procurement methodologies that the Department of Defense and intelligence communities are contemplating to address “known” physical and cyber threats to the supply of energy and the level of innovation that they are willing to investigate to address these known and latent threats to the supply of energy.

Most recently, I embarked on a speaking tour from Washington D.C. to California where I had the opportunity to engage with policy and program leaders from the Department of Defense and state governments, to think tanks and NGOs on issues ranging from the future of Public-Private Partnerships (P3) and Public-Public-Private Partnerships (P4), energy and water project opportunities, to strategic microgrid development and implementation. Constellation is “forward leaning” in the field of developing complex P3 and P4 energy security projects as demonstrated at the Aberdeen Test Center. I wanted to share some of the insights and trends I discovered during these important forums.

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council, Washington D.C.

During the Bipartisan Policy Center’s American Energy Innovation Council, I had the opportunity to join the Navy Secretary, U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Director, and energy policy leaders to discuss innovative solutions to funding P3 and P4 energy projects. The panel itself was incredibly valuable and engaging. Additionally, I benefited greatly from the conversations I had with my fellow panelists before and after the event, which helped me establish relationships where none existed and build stronger relationships with friends, while gleaming insights into their changing responsibilities and goals related to energy security.

For example, the military is now looking to triple its use of performance contracts and expand the scope of energy water project to be “holistic and comprehensive.” Discussion also centered around increasing the weighting of scores for innovation and reliability of energy solutions related to security, where in the past the emphasis was on prior experience in very specific areas like HVAC and lighting systems. No longer are performance contracts limited to 20 percent of a base’s buildings but are now being used to implement fence-to-fence strategies, where all buildings and systems are considered in a “no options off the table” approach. With the need to remain energy secure and resilient, while remaining budget conscious, strategic approaches that can leverage contracts for every possible technology, to the full extent of the finance term, are favored. These contracts now allow for behind the meter onsite generation power purchase agreements, the creation of multiple levels of redundant energy generation and supply to the existing energy infrastructure, and experimenting with innovative technologies.

Microgrid Development for Public and Private Sectors, San Diego

I also had the opportunity to meet with federal, state and water authority leaders at the Microgrid Development for Public and Private Sectors West Coast event. While the initial mandate of the event was broad, ‘Microgrid development for Public and Private Sectors,’ the focus of the conversations centered on the role that microgrids can play to ensure continuity of operations, during – or in spite of – an attack on the energy grid or during a power outage. A key learning for me at this event was how critical stable and reliable power was to the operations of water authorities. This conference was an important reminder that we need to view energy security from all public sector perspectives.

Our efforts to ward against physical and cyber-attacks to our customers’ energy infrastructure can be addressed through incorporating energy security and onsite generation into the contract scope of work for a more comprehensive and risk managed approach. By redistributing power efficiently to our nation’s critical infrastructure, key resources like water systems and first responders can better serve the public’s interest. Multiple reliable sources of sustainable energy generation are the fabric of a functioning mission and microgrids are the threads that bind them in an ever increasingly important mix of energy solutions for so many different government and public sector entities.

Association of Defense Communities 5th Annual Federal Energy Workshop, Washington D.C.

Recently, I spoke at the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) 5th Annual Federal Energy Workshop. Held at the Army Navy Club in Washington D.C., the event brought together high level government officials from the Department of Defense and the General Services Administration to private sector companies specializing in energy generation and energy security.

The key take-away from the event is the trend of moving away from a design-build government contracting model towards a design-engineer-build-own-operate-maintain (DE-BOOM) model. With this new end-to-end procurement model, third parties take on the risk of building and system performance and upfront capital costs on behalf of the government – from project execution and throughout the duration of the project. The private sector entities also remain active in monitoring and updating the energy system(s) to ensure it is functioning and producing the expected energy, cost savings and energy security results.

Over the past 4 years I have had the pleasure of representing Constellation at dozens of conferences. Each event is a unique and beneficial opportunity to actively engage in the thought leadership that shapes policy and influences industry leaders and government entities on the issues facing our industry as well as the resolutions that are available through thoughtful procurement strategies. Speaking with policy and program leaders helps Constellation become a stronger provider for the public sector. We look forward to continuing our work to help public sector customers strengthen its ability to ensure continuity of operations and meet energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation mandates while achieving their overall mission.

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