The focus of the project was the three interconnected locations, based on existing circuits selected by the Naval Facilities Engineering Command South West (NAVFAC SW), and using existing communications infrastructure (secure fiber optic), existing Supervisor Control and Data Access (SCADA) system (Telvent), existing building management system (Johnson Controls Metasys), and existing metering. One controllable SCADA system for the low voltage system was not integrated (Iconics) because of cyber security concerns, but data was used from the system for the development of scenarios for the site.  The objectives of the demonstration were:

  • Creating a centralized microgrid cluster for monitoring and control of power generation and consumption for the three noncontiguous naval bases: San Diego, Coronado, and Point Loma;
  • Providing comprehensive, real-time situational awareness so that base command and operations can manage power as they manage other critical aspects of their missions.  Situational awareness included the creation of three detailed power models for the selected circuits; 
  • Obtaining existing power model(s), unifying the models and integrating the models into Paladin DesignBase (detailed discussion in SECNAV Instruction 4101.3);
  • Using information from the real-time cluster monitoring to optimize the use of assets (generation and load) and to create a baseline power model for the three bases updating with real-time power flows;
  • Demonstrating, through market participant simulations at the Colorado State University Power House Integrid Lab, the technology and processes needed to participate in the commercial (wholesale) electric market, including workable communication protocols between the microgrid, the utility, and the Independent System Operator (ISO);
  • Developing an energy security model, for validating clustered microgrids. Power Analytics provided a detailed Request for Information (RFI) of the Navy ICS based on the SAMES architecture;
  • Integrating energy management functions on a cyber-secure platform to meet current Navy security standards, and be adaptable and scalable for future requirements; and,
    • Leveraging technology to maximize the benefit of existing equipment and,
    • Creating a flexible, scalable solution with alternative energy sources and energy storage. 

Technology Description

Local operational control over the production of energy is a priority throughout both military and civilian agencies. This control can be accomplished through the use of renewable energy generation organized within a microgrid. The single driving emerging technology today, at the core of the overall trend worldwide, is the development of distributed generation and renewable generation. Distributed generation, in the form of emergency standby generation, is an integral part of the current military war-readiness mission. The ability to incorporate existing generation, both in the form of emergency standby generation and other forms of renewable generation, including, but not limited to, energy storage, comprise one side of the triad that is the integrated Microgrid (see Figure 1 below). Load management is another side of the triad, and the ability to manage and optimize the system for mission surety is the third side of the triad and the goal of the integrated resource Microgrid.

The Secure Automated Microgrid Energy System (SAMES) demonstration was split between two locations to pre-stage the software and demonstrate control and optimization in an operational system.

  1. All aspects associated with the three microgrid circuits on the bases in San Diego; including scenario analysis based on data acquired during the operational phases in San Diego, augmented with relevant time series data for weather.
  2. The parallel (mirrored) effort at Colorado State University Power House Integrid Lab.

To the best of the SAMES team's knowledge, this secure microgrid project was the first proposed cluster of microgrids ever attempted. The “cluster” concept was specifically related to the integration of data, dashboards, and procedures from a designated location or any authorized location on the secure network. The cluster concept was possible, in part, because of an existing secure fiber optic network covering all three bases. The application for wheeling of power was not proposed, nor practical, given the time constraints of the Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP) process. Additional factors considered in this decision were the cost and intrusive nature that would require reconfiguring circuits to wheel power. Wheeling was defined as the transportation of electric energy (megawatt-hours) from within an electrical grid to an electrical load outside the grid boundaries. Two types of wheeling are: 1) a wheel-through, where the electrical power generation and the load are both outside the boundaries of the transmission system, and 2) a wheel-out, where the generation resource is inside the boundaries of the transmission system but the load is outside.

The system design was also heavily dependent on the creation and use of a very detailed power model, created off line, but implemented in a secure real-time environment. Critical power analysis, such as security constrained load flows, short circuit and real-time arc flash, were also key elements of the approach that have never been previously attempted. The fundamental value of the power system is, in fact, derived from real-time power modeling to determine what is possible, how to continually optimize the system and how to integrate the inherent value of a real-time power model into the Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of base operations.

To develop the solutions and demonstrate the value of the fundamental concepts of a microgrid, Power Analytics and its partners created a comprehensive shadow site at Colorado State University (CSU) Power House Integrid Lab to demonstrate the value of real-time power modeling, advanced O&M operations, and the economic value of grid connected/ islanded operation, without the risks associated to real-time live base operations. The mirrored site at CSU Power House Integrid Lab was in effect, a complete separate installation, including the development of new power models for the University, analysis, and real-time capability.

The benefits conveyed in the study’s approach include increasing situational awareness, simulation and training, reduced energy cost, and integration of renewable forms of generation into the overall system.

The SAMES proposal pioneered this approach across three geographically-disperse locations (a cluster) that are interconnected via a secure communications system. The SAMES strategy and methodology was to utilize as much of the existing systems and networks as applicable to minimize the cost and minimize the disruption to base operations. A key to the demonstration was the creation of a secondary (mirrored) site at the Power House Integrid Lab at Colorado State University which was used to demonstrate the control requirements without impacting the base operations. This secondary site which also served as the “hardware in the loop” testing site is incorporated into this final report.

Demonstration Results

The SAMES project was able to directionally show how adopting and deploying energy efficient technologies and processes satisfied the aforementioned objectives. The innovations of this project increased the reliability of the existing electrical infrastructure by detecting potential failure points, thus increasing situational awareness by base personnel. The development of the baseline power model for each of the sites was a critical first step. The power models were developed based on existing power engineering data used for recent arc flash studies, and/or other related reports, made available to Power Analytics from NAVFAC SW (e.g., protective device coordination and short circuit studies).

Utilizing the results from the interim analyses, the SAMES power model accurately determined if existing data/information was up to date. The SAMES project utilized available time series data from base facilities and real-time sources. Employing the power model, the SAMES team demonstrated how renewable energy sources can be easily integrated into an existing base infrastructure. The microgrid management analytics of SAMES allows the bases to island from the local utility and/or export power back to the utility when the bases produced a surplus energy source. The physical testing (simulations) for these capabilities was demonstrated at the Colorado State University Power House Integrid Lab in Fort Collins (Mirrored Site). In addition, the SAMES enterprise system provides the Navy command structure the visibility over their power systems assets as they have over other aspects of their operational missions.

Implementation Issues

Equipment Calibration

Calibration of the power systems model is based on annual weather changes or significant variation in predicted power variables and through state estimation from known calibrated data sources. Variation can be an early source of identification of potential equipment failure, so automatic power model calibration is only done on a seasonal basis. 

The primary source of data sampling for quality in the operational system is the real-time comparison of key power metrics (real-time values compared to dynamic model simulations and the associated variables).

The demonstrated commercial accuracy embodied in the power systems model that is dynamically updated is a fundamental method for identification of both reasonableness of data and faulty data.


Notwithstanding the Department of Defense’s (DoD) adherence to the mandated focus on cyber security, the SAMES team was able to collect a sufficient amount of informative data representative for the three base’s energy consumptions and costs. The research completed in this report demonstrated that potential migrogrid integration is possible within the confines of the cyber security policies and standards. With changing regulations focused on the reduction of energy consumption from nonrenewable resources, and the transition to renewable energy resources, energy producers such as photovoltaic arrays, or additional forms of distributed energy resources, would ensure reliability, energy surety, and energy reliability to the bases.