Department of the Air Force (DAF) energy and water projects are transforming the ways in which we use energy and water at installations. To ensure a reliable, ready, and resilient supply continues, the DAF Installation Energy Program is integrating energy and water considerations across the enterprise by focusing on the following initiatives:
Micro-Reactor Pilot Program
The Department of the Air Force Micro-Reactor Pilot was initiated in response to the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act requirement to identify potential locations to site, construct, and operate a micro-reactor by the end of 2027. Eielson Air Force Base (AFB) is the Department of Air Force’s (DAF) preferred location to pilot its first micro-reactor. The pilot micro-reactor will be commercially owned and operated, and U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission-licensed, and has the potential to demonstrate clean, reliable, and resilient energy supply technology for critical national security infrastructure.
As the first pilot program of its kind, the micro-reactor pilot program must undergo significant scrutiny and coordination from the agencies involved in its success. In September 2022, the Department of the Air Force, in partnership with the DLA Energy, released a request for proposal (RFP) for the project. The RFP closed on January 31, 2023.
Learn more about the Micro-Reactor Pilot program by checking out our fact sheet and frequently asked questions and through Eielson AFB's Micro-Reactor Pilot website. Additional questions regarding the pilot can be directed to SAF.IEE.Micro-ReactorPilot@us.af.mil.
Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
In October 2022, the DAF released its Climate Action Plan, which defines how the DAF preserves operational capability, increases resiliency, and helps mitigate future climate impacts through specific and measurable objectives and key results. The DAF is already implementing innovative solutions and pilot programs to meet the goals outlined in the plan and bolster mission readiness, including working toward 100% carbon-pollution free electricity by fiscal year (FY) 2030 and 100 percent zero emission non-tactical vehicles by FY35.
Additionally, the DAF has developed an approach to identify, prioritize, and put forth competitive climate-informed initiatives for future funding requests and opportunities. The Climate Attributes Framework aligns the Department’s current approach to traditional resilience with a complementary framework that integrates both climate adaptation and climate mitigation to support long-term mission assurance.
The DAF is leading the way within the federal government to adopt and integrate a commercial Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) business model aimed at delivering reliable and resilient energy to installation mission owners more cost effectively than is done through current DAF energy management and procurement approaches. EaaS gives customers access to energy management services without upfront costs to provide resilient, efficient, and cost-effective energy that will benefit an installation.
In 2023, the DAF kicked off this effort with award of an EaaS agreement at Hanscom Air Force Base. The $10 million next-generation energy performance contract is a three-year Other Transaction Prototype Agreement (OTP) contract that includes an initial design-build period, followed by an operational period of at least 12 months, concluding with an evaluation and reporting period. Leveraging the OTP acquisition instrument will allow the Air Force to scale up more efficiently should the pilot project be deemed successful.
Read more about this effort with the Energy-as-a-Service fact sheet.
EaaS utilizes one industry partner to manage, operate and invest in the energy portfolio at an installation.
Installation Energy Plans
With the increased prevalence of large-scale natural disasters and the recognized threat of physical and cyber-attacks on our utilities, coordinating installation planning for energy and water resilience has never been more important. To address these threats, the DAF is developing IEPs to employ strategies to improve installation energy and water resilience. By planning for the future, we are better equipped to identify and execute energy and water projects to achieve mission assurance.
Learn additional information about Air Force Installation Energy Plans.
The operating environment is becoming ever more networked and dependent on enabling systems like energy and water. Whether physical or cyber, disruptions to these enabling systems pose a risk to mission operations because of the potential for unknown or under-analyzed impacts of such an event in a global system-of-systems environment. Even at a single installation, balancing and responding to competing priorities during an energy, water or cyber denial of service is extremely difficult if not considered in advance. To help address these risks and support mission assurance, the SAF/IEE Installation Energy Program is working to identify, assess, test, and mitigate enabling system vulnerabilities under an overarching Mission Thread approach with includes the following initiatives:
Water Resources Management
From training to operations and facilities, water is a critical input to accomplish DAF missions. As part of the Installation Energy portfolio, the water resources management program is shifting from managing water primarily based on conservation targets and quality monitoring toward a risk-based approach that more directly supports mission assurance. This will provide insights into vulnerabilities and potential impacts to mission at installations and enterprise wide, empowering decision makers to invest in resilience and manage water more effectively.
The water resources management program developed a Installation Water Dashboard to serve as a single interactive data repository. The Installation Water Dashboard is hosted on CE DASH and compiles all relevant water data in a single place to support installation resilience planning.
Learn additional information about Department of the Air Force Water Resources Management.