Installation energy is a key enabler of the Department of Defense (DoD) mission: providing the military forces needed to deter war and to protect the security of our country. Without energy, command; control; communications; and many other enablers of the mission, would be nonfunctional and the overall mission would fail. Enterprise-wide, real-time Situational Awareness (SA) of Installation Energy (IE) would help prevent failure and assure the DoD mission.

This project will develop a Virtual Power Station (VPS) to provide this SA for the Navy with reciprocity for a joint, DoD enterprise-wide capability. VPS centralizes operational visibility and control of IE assets and enables market integration of generation assets in order to capture revenue, all while meeting DoD’s unique cybersecurity needs through a Risk Management Framework (RMF) Type Authorization (TA). At a minimum, VPS will enable enterprise-wide monitoring of DoD energy sources and loads, in order to help assure its mission.

Technology Description

VPS is a system-of-systems integration solution with the DoD’s Joint Information Environment (JIE) as the host platform. It implements a commercial VPS within the DoD’s unique cybersecurity environment. It feeds the electricity sector-specific IT security services offered by the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) and demonstrates increased electric load and generation awareness, operational economic cost savings, and a strengthened cybersecurity posture through a pilot with Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and Naval Station Norfolk.

VPS connects to the Navy Region Facility and Energy Operations Cell (FEOC) via the DoD Information Network (DoDIN). It relies upon standard communications security protocols and JIE network protection, inspection, detection, and blocking mechanisms to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, and safety of IE control data, SA, and market interactions. When necessary, read-only-data feeds, implemented using data diodes, are configured to transmit SA from energy metering assets to VPS. Data diodes physically guarantee one-way communication and enable safe SA collection from generation assets deemed too critical to risk bi-directional communications for control purposes.


Industry has proven the business model and value of VPS. Third-party aggregators exist who provide performance guarantees to site owners for energy savings, market revenue generation, and system uptime. On average, day-ahead and real-time energy markets yield revenues of about $20/Megawatt Hour (MWh), rising to $100/MWh or more at peak demand periods. Profits – backed by performance guarantees – are typically split 75% / 25% between the site owner and aggregator. Given Norfolk’s dispatchable aggregated power capacity of at least 8 MW, this could result in annual energy revenues of $500,000. This monetary benefit would be in addition to the increased SA and improved cyber security posture of IE assets that a VPS enables. A successful deployment across the DoD enterprise would significantly increase the aggregate expected benefits.