Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force Holds Defense Energy Roundtable

November 2, 2018


Kelsey Schiller, MassDevelopment, 617-330-2011 & 617-694-9695 (cell)

The Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force (MASS-TF) held its second annual Defense Energy Roundtable at the Cambridge Innovation Center in Boston on Tuesday as part of the Department of Defense’s Energy Action Month. The roundtable focused on opportunities for enhancing energy resilience at Massachusetts’ six military installations, and brought together leaders from the Department of Defense, government and quasi-public agencies, and industry, research, and innovation leaders. The MASS-TF held its first Defense Energy Roundtable in October 2017.

At the roundtable, participants discussed future trends in energy; strategies to identify and secure diverse, affordable, and sustainable energy sources; the MASS-TF’s work to promote and support energy resilience at the Commonwealth’s military installations; and opportunities for collaboration between federal, state, and local stakeholders to reduce the cost of energy for these installations. Officials from the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, and U.S. Navy described the Department of Defense’s objectives for ensuring energy resilience at military bases both in Massachusetts and across the country.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Air Force for Environment, Safety and Infrastructure Mark Correll emphasized that all branches of service have been refocusing their efforts from ‘efficiency’ to ‘resilience,’ noting a gradual shift from making every base the most efficient to making sure that the right missions are enabled.

"Missions across all supporting installations are the key," said Correll. "Our Air Force installations are focused on achieving mission assurance through enhancing energy and water system resilience and reducing system vulnerabilities."

Similarly, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Army for Energy & Sustainability Jack Surash stated that the U.S. Army has taken aggressive measures to ensure their missions will be successful in the most extreme circumstances, including outages or network attacks. They have ‘pulled the plug’ on bases, effectively cutting off electricity at an installation as a way to test its ability to respond, recover, and resume its mission.

“Our structured, ‘pull-the-plug exercises,’ are giving us ground truth about our resilience and allowing us to readily address any shortfalls,” said Surash. “In the end, until you conduct end-to-end system tests you don’t know what you don’t know.”

Additionally, Deputy Director of the U.S. Navy Resilient Energy Program Office Captain Kirk Lagerquist offered examples of the work being done in New England, both at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and at Groton Naval Submarine Base, to increase installation resilience in the region.

Captain Lagerquist said his office ensures that, “Our energy efficiency and resilience efforts are focused on enhancing our warfighting readiness and maneuverability around the world.” He further stated, “Strategic partnerships, like the ones being forged at the Commonwealth’s Defense Energy Resilience Roundtable, help us get there.”

“Massachusetts’s six military installations are economic powerhouses, contributing more than $13.2 billion in economic activity in the Commonwealth and supporting more than 57,000 jobs,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Jay Ash. “The Baker-Polito Administration is proud to support the MASS-TF’s efforts to enhance and protect these critical installations, including through strategy discussions like this that focus on making our bases more energy efficient, cost-effective, and secure in the immediate and long-term future.”

“Since it was created in 2012, the MASS-TF has made great strides in identifying and tackling opportunities to reduce costs and increase energy resilience at the Commonwealth’s military installations,” said MassDevelopment President and CEO Lauren Liss. “MassDevelopment is a proud member and supporter of the MASS-TF, and the conversations taking place at this roundtable will better inform our mission to maximize efficiency among our six military bases, protect missions, and create jobs in the Commonwealth.”

“As the Greentown Labs community grows to 100 cleantech startups, we continue to see more opportunities for our early-stage companies to engage with the Department of Defense, the MASS-TF, the Defense Innovation Unit and other defense organizations committed to energy innovation, resiliency and excellence,” said Dr. Emily Reichert, CEO of Greentown Labs.” We commend the MASS-TF’s leadership in deploying new energy technologies across the Commonwealth’s military installations and believe there are many synergies between their goals and the solutions cleantech entrepreneurs are currently developing. We’re proud to work with MASS-TF and yesterday’s excellent discussion highlights the task force’s commitment to a sustainable energy future and economic development for Massachusetts.”

“Massachusetts is home to the first cyber-secure microgrid in the country at Joint Base Cape Cod, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is partnering with the U.S. Air Force to assess the feasibility of a potential microgrid at Hanscom Air Force Base,” said Massachusetts Clean Energy Center CEO Stephen Pike. “Massachusetts military leaders have been on the cutting edge of renewable energy and understand its role in improving operational readiness and resilience, and MassCEC stands ready to help our military as it works to ensure state and national security.”

About the Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force
Housed within the Office of the Governor and supported by the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development and MassDevelopment, the Massachusetts Military Asset and Security Strategy Task Force (MASS-TF) coordinates among the Commonwealth’s six military facilities to maximize their efficiency. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is home to six military installations with more than $13 billion in total economic activity and support for more than 57,000 jobs, including Hanscom Air Force Base, Natick Soldier Systems Center, Joint Base Cape Cod, Fort Devens, Westover Air Force Reserve Base, and Barnes Air National Guard Base.

About MassDevelopment
MassDevelopment, the state’s finance and development agency, works with businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, and communities to stimulate economic growth across the Commonwealth. During FY2018, MassDevelopment financed or managed 384 projects generating investment of more than $4.1 billion in the Massachusetts economy. These projects are estimated to create or support 10,994 jobs and build or rehabilitate 830 housing units.