I had the opportunity this past week to represent the Department of Energy at a critically important exercise here in our Nation’s Capital – an exercise, just like in real life, to strengthen our muscles, in this case making our electricity grid more secure and resilient.
The two-day Grid Security Exercise III, or GridEx III, was the largest exercise of its kind – ever. GridEx III brought together government and private sector leaders to simulate a coordinated response to physical and cyber threats to our Nation’s grid.
The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) recently released an innovative, interactive visualization tool to highlight the findings from our work on the effect of sea level rise and storm surge on energy infrastructure. The tool is designed to enhance the communication of the results and allows users to better understand the context of the potential exposure and explore spatial data used to create the maps. The tool also includes full reports for each of the seven metropolitan statistical areas (MSA).
I have previously written about synchrophasors. These are systems that measure the status of the electric power grid at high resolution and enable a wide range of applications that allow operators to manage their systems more efficiently, integrate new generation sources, and improve reliability. Synchrophasor technology monitors the grid at a rate 100 times faster than existing systems and is a core component of a modernized grid.
The Department of Energy is working in partnership with industry members to advance and accelerate the use of this technology. Since 1995, the Department has sponsored R&D in Phasor Measurement Units (PMUs) and synchrophasor applications
The more than 330 Recovery Act-funded projects that the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability has been managing over the past five years have been successfully completed, with major improvements to the grid now in place across America. Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the Energy Department invested more than $31 billion in a wide range of projects nationwide. The DOE investment included $4.5 billion for modernization of the nation’s electric grid. With matching private funding from the electric sector, the investment in grid modernization totaled about $9.5 billion.
This is National Preparedness Month, when we as a Nation take time to create plans to stay safe for any disaster that could potentially affect our communities. This year’s theme is “Don't Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” During this week’s Power Outage Week, please take time to plan and practice your response so that you know what to do to be safe if the power goes out.
Nuclear reactions of the sun create light and heat and, from time to time, the sun ejects a mass of charged particles racing through space called a Coronal Mass Ejection (also known as a solar flare). When that mass reaches the earth, it reacts with the earth’s magnetic field, sending charged particles swirling around the planet. Some of the results are spectacular, including the Northern Lights.
It is my pleasure to announce that Meghan Conklin has joined the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the National Electricity Delivery Division. Meghan has extensive experience in energy, environmental, and natural resources policy and government affairs from her work in Federal government and on Capitol Hill.