Army installations are reliant on commercial companies to provide them with electricity and water, but that utility infrastructure is vulnerable to natural disasters and threats like the recent Colonial pipeline cyberattack. Schofield Barracks in Hawaii recently tested its ability to overcome such a threat by using a generation station to provide energy to local bases; however, most Army installations do not have this capability.
The Army and the local power company Hawaiian Electric tested the Schofield Generating Station on May 22 by taking Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia off the local power grid and isolating them to the station. It took about two hours to get power back to the bases, Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, the commander of the 25th Infantry Division and U.S. Army Hawaii, said during a call with reporters Wednesday.
“In the event of an emergency where power is lost, Schofield Barracks and U.S. Army Hawaii can be back up and running in just a matter of hours. This enables us to support the state of Hawaii if requested to provide defense support to civil authorities,” he said.
The station test was done over a 36-hour period before the installations were put back on the local grid, according to a Hawaiian Electric statement.
The generation station operates on 100 percent biodiesel that is distilled in Hawaii, and it is the only power station located away from the coastal area, Jarrard said. While the station is located on the Army installation, it is operated by the local utility company.