Announcement: Congratulations to the Winners of the Military Energy Resilience Catalyst (MERC) Innovation Challenge
The Military Resilience Energy Catalyst (MERC) Innovation Challenge Winners:
Distributed Sun, LLC and S&C Electric Company
We launched the MERC Innovation Challenge in partnership with Idaho National Lab (INL) and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) to seed creative solutions that can be implemented now to minimize the damage and disruption of a future disaster, and bring together a community of stakeholders with diverse interests in continuity of operations.
The MERC Challenge focused on a fictional military installation hit by a major hurricane and disruptions to critical infrastructure from a cyber-attack. While the scenario is fictional, it represents concerns shared among national security leaders.
The “Microgrid as a Service for Reliability” concept by Distributed Sun, LLC and S&C Electric Company has been declared the winner by a panel of senior DoD, Army, Air Force, Navy, DOE, and DHS government reviewers. More than 30 solutions were submitted from industry stakeholders, government entities, and national laboratories. Each submission was evaluated on its maturity in implementation viability, ingenuity of ideas, and impact of solutions.
The “Microgrid as a Service for Reliability” concept centered on hardening the base with a core set of commercial off the shelf components: S&C Electric Company’s Modular Microgrid and GridMaster® Microgrid Control System; Distributed Sun’s solar photovoltaic system and batteries; Caterpillar’s Natural Gas Packaged Generation Systems; Portable (towable) solar photovoltaic module and battery assemblies; and Plug-in hybrid vehicles for on-base transportation.
The concept also discussed alternative financing approaches including Distributed Sun’s Military Financing Partnership Solution for Microgrids as a Service (MaaS) to permit multiple acquisition strategies.
Bharath Srinivasan, Senior Vice President of Operations at Distributed Sun LLC and Stephanie S. Pine, Manager of Federal Business at S&C Electric Company expressed enthusiasm at the receptiveness to their concept and said they look forward to exploring how their companies can help improve military resilience to disruptions in critical services.