1: Define Projects for Solution Implementation
Roadmap to Action / Define Projects for Solution Implementation
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Inputs Needed

  • Prioritized solutions selected to carry forward from Solution Prioritization Workbook

Outputs

  • Defined projects to address each solution

Overview

In this action, the resilience planning team will identify funding sources and develop the projects required to execute the solutions from the Solution Prioritization module. Bridging the gap between developing and executing solutions requires comprehensive, actionable projects that have a defined intent, scope, and resource allocation to ensure the resulting projects are actionable. Additional information on potential partners and organizational considerations is also documented in this action to help define projects.

In-Depth

In this action, the resilience planning team will transform solutions into defined projects and build out the details associated with each project. This starts with identifying the project or set of projects that will be pursued to address each of the prioritized solutions. Examples of projects include but are not limited to distribution system hardening, new distributed generation, fuel storage or potable water storage tanks, hiring additional maintenance staff, and development of emergency standard operating procedures. Technological solutions can be divided into multiple projects depending on their complexity. Operational and institutional solutions can be divided into multiple projects comprised of discrete activities that energy staff can identify to achieve the desired outcome, such as a critical asset inventory or development of a continuity of operations plan. Projects can be paid for by one or more funding sources, which will be discussed below. The TRN Resource: Questions for Clear Project Definition contains helpful considerations for defining a project.

Define Projects and Identify Resources for Implementation

By transforming a solution into an actionable project or set of projects, the resilience planning team can start to identify the discrete steps needed to execute a solution. This is the first step towards transforming the results of the TRN into action. In this step, the resilience planning team will identify all projects required to complete a solution, find potential partners for projects, address any organizational considerations, and tap into available resources.

Like the examples above, a project should be a discrete asset, change in operating procedure, or staffing change. For example, integrating a resilience-based plan into existing master planning efforts could be a project for an organizational solution, while a microgrid-ready solar photovoltaic project could be a project that fits into a microgrid solution.

Partners: Partners, whether they are internal or external to the organization, can dramatically increase the chance a project will successfully reach implementation by diversifying the number of people or organizations that have a stake in the project. Having partners that are external to the organization, such as the local government or community, can also add significant project legitimacy with funders and leadership.

It is not essential to have approached and successfully engaged all potential partners at this stage; however, preliminary identification of partners will help in defining projects. If the resilience planning team has not yet identified partners or department and staff leads, as well as key implementation partners, they can make some preliminary determinations now before proceeding.

Organizational Considerations: Ensuring that new projects are aligned with other organizational initiatives, priorities, and activities is an important criterion for leadership approval. Because of the complexities associated with resilience, it is even more important that the resilience planning team clearly identify how a new proposed solution fits into the larger planning and program context of the organization. This added context can help other stakeholders who have not been closely involved in the resilience planning process to situate the proposed solutions into more familiar or relatable contexts. It can be beneficial to focus on three to five existing projects or initiatives whose objectives are most closely associated with those of the solution(s) being proposed to make the strongest connections possible. In some cases, where the organizational mandate and/or funding is clear and available for the project, it may not be necessary to articulate project alignment, but it can still be a useful communication method.

Resources: Available resources will have a significant impact on the resilience planning team’s ability to execute different solutions and their associated projects, so it is important to identify where resources are and are not available. Types of resources can include monetary, real estate, personnel skill sets, tools, or time.

If federal projects are being developed, contact the Federal Project Executive for your region and the FEMP procurement team for additional support during this action. These staff can help organizations identify funding sources and requirements that are unique to the federal government and share valuable insights from prior projects. See the TRN Resource: Identify and Evaluate Potential Funding Sources for more information on potential funding sources and how to identify funding specifically for energy generation solutions.

To identify monetary resources, research the organization’s acquisition guidance to develop a list of all possible funding sources that may be applicable to the projects identified. Potential funding sources for projects include various types of appropriations, performance contracting, enhanced-use leases and other real estate transactions, and grants such as FEMP’s Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) grant. Performance contracting options include energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs), utility energy service contracts (UESCs), power purchase agreements, and ESPC Energy Sales agreements (ESPC ESAs). Other arrangements such as Energy-as-a-Service, utility privatization contracts, and state/local/utility incentives could be considered in certain circumstances as well. See the TRN Resource: Potential Funding Options Comparison for additional detail on these options.

Projects in support of operational and institutional solutions will likely require appropriations, with the type of appropriation (e.g., operations and maintenance, planning, operating budgets) varying depending on the organization and project details. Projects requiring a significant capital investment could be integrated into already-planned budget requests, adding value to those requests, and reducing the risk and uncertainty of requesting a large, independent expenditure. In the next action, the resilience planning team will identify funding sources associated with each defined project.

Instructions for Data Entry

The resilience planning team can identify and refine projects in the Roadmap to Action Workbook. If not already completed, cut and paste solutions from Tab 6 of the Solution Prioritization Excel Workbook into Tab 1 of the Roadmap to Action Workbook. Use Tab 2 of the Roadmap to Action Workbook to define projects associated with each solution. To build out each project, answer the ‘who, what, where, when and how’ questions in Tab 2. The TRN Resource: Questions for Clear Project Definition can provide additional guidance when building out a project. Some information required for Tab 2, such as the Consequence or Vulnerability Adjustment column, can be cut and pasted from previous workbooks. This information is carried over to ensure that the original risk addressed by the project stays central to the development process.

If federal projects are being developed, contact the Federal Project Executive for your region and the FEMP procurement team for additional support during this action. These staff can help organizations identify funding sources and requirements that are unique to the federal government and share valuable insights from prior projects. See the TRN Resource: Identify and Evaluate Potential Funding Sources for more information on potential funding sources and how to identify funding specifically for energy generation solutions.