Navy delivers Mid-Atlantic Regional Resilience Workshop
The Hampton Roads Regional Resilience Workshop, sponsored by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, Installations, and Environment (EI&E), convened more than 60 stakeholders from Navy and Marine Corps installations, the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation, the U.S. Department of Energy, state and local government, utilities, and federally funded research and development centers. Old Dominion University’s Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience, hosted the Department of Navy’s (DON) second regional resilience workshop from 28 - 29 June 2023.
The workshop convened a large number of attendees from a diverse group of organizations to develop infrastructure project concepts to strengthen resilience in the Hampton Roads region. Workshop participants were challenged to identify regional infrastructure interdependencies and develop solutions that would enhance energy resilience, reliability, and efficiency for Navy installations and surrounding communities.
The objectives of the Hampton Roads Regional Resilience Workshop were to:
Objective 1. Identify regional infrastructure vulnerabilities that could impact DoD installation mission continuity.
Objective 2. Address critical infrastructure interdependencies and identify funding strategies for potential solutions.
Objective 3. Develop holistic project concepts that enhance energy resilience, reliability, and efficiency for Navy and Marine Corps installations and surrounding communities.
“In the United States, Norfolk is second only to New Orleans when it comes to flood risk, rising sea levels, increased flooding and precipitation, more frequent and more intense storms,” said Meredith Berger, Assistant Secretary of the Navy (EI&E). “We know what’s at stake, and if there is a solution, we are innovative enough to find it when we collaborate with this group of stakeholders and partners to identify the good ideas and determine how to take action.”
Workshop facilitators from Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Converge Strategies, LLC (CSL) presented regional infrastructure modeling using INL’s All Hazards Analysis (AHA) framework. INL analysts presented two infrastructure disruption scenarios.
The first scenario focused on the immediate downstream effects on the natural gas sector and other infrastructure systems after a polar vortex. The second was a longer-term notional scenario that demonstrated how a confluence of sea level rise and storm surge flooding in Hampton Roads could severely impact regional access to infrastructure and multiple systems at the same time.
The INL AHA tool analysis provided workshop participants with tangible, realistic, and immersive infrastructure disruption scenarios, solidifying the urgent need for transformational investments.
Workshop participants engaged with presentations by critical infrastructure owners — Dominion Energy, Southern Company Gas, Hampton Roads Sanitation District (HRSD) — who discussed their ongoing collaboration efforts with the community and the Navy, current resilience posture, and ongoing and planned infrastructure projects.
The AHA framework, disruption scenarios, and critical infrastructure presentations provided workshop participants with a shared understanding of likely infrastructure impacts on the region and DON installations in the near future. Participants then divided into several teams and developed project concepts to strengthen the resilience posture in the Hampton Roads region to anticipated impacts and disruptions, as well as supportive funding and implementation plans.
Workshops teams developed five project concepts, including regional transmission projects, advanced energy and water demonstration projects, and transformative infrastructure investments to meet the unique needs of the coastal communities and DON in the Hampton Roads region.
Workshops participants were able to include in their project concepts ideas for funding pathways after receiving presentations from federal program managers from the Office of Local Defense Community Cooperation and the U.S. Department of Energy, who are responsible for executing billions of dollars focused on issue sets directly relevant to the objectives of the workshop. Program highlights included the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program and the Defense Critical Infrastructure Program (DCIP).
Workshop teams presented their concepts to other workshop participants, ensuring participants were aware of all the ideas developed and able to provide feedback and offers of support. Workshop teams will be reconvened following the workshop to make further progress on their projects, culminating in funding requests from state and federal partners.