DOE awarding $38 million for state energy emergency preparedness

Washington, D.C., August 13, 2009 — Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced nearly $38 million in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve state emergency preparedness plans and ensure quick recovery and restoration from any energy supply disruptions.

Funds will be used by state governments to hire or retrain staff and expand state-level capacities to address challenges to the country’s energy systems, including emergency situations such as blackouts, hurricanes, ice storms and disruptions to heating supplies.

“Today’s awards provide crucial support to our state partners in modernizing the electrical grid and enhancing our energy security,” said Secretary Chu. “Enhancing the states’ ability to quickly and effectively respond to energy disruptions is a critical element in meeting our nation’s energy goals.”

States will use the funds to plan for energy supply disruption risks and vulnerabilities to lessen the devastating impact that such incidents can have on the economy and the health and safety of the public.

Each state will be required to track energy emergencies to assess the restoration and recovery times of any supply disruptions; to train appropriate personnel on energy infrastructure and supply systems; and conduct and participate in state and regional energy emergency exercises to evaluate the effectiveness of their energy assurance plans.

The awards for energy assurance capabilities will also help states address cyber security concerns and prepare for the challenges of integrating smart grid technologies and renewable energy sources into the transmission network. States are encouraged to coordinate and communicate best practices with one another, to build both state-level and regional resiliency.

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