The Department of Energy is participating in this month’s National Preparedness Month and America’s PrepareAthon! to promote nationwide, community-based actions that increase emergency preparedness. We encourage your involvement because effective preparedness to any emergency takes a community effort from the ground up.
With September being National Preparedness Month, I would like to highlight what the Department’s role is during an energy emergency and how we work closely to with our public and private partners. As the Sector-specific Agency for Energy, under the Department of Homeland Security’s National Infrastructure Protection Plan, DOE works closely with Federal, State and local governments, and industry to protect against and mitigate threats on the energy infrastructure, regardless of whether they are caused by natural disasters, deliberate attacks, or are the result of human error.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Space Weather Prediction Center, which provides important resources to describe the space environment, including geomagnetic storms, solar radiation storms and radio blackouts, is forecasting the possibility of moderate-to-strong geomagnetic activity for Friday and Saturday. The source of the activity is a coronal mass ejection observed earlier this week. Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) – also known as solar flares – create a large mass of charged solar energetic particles that escape from the sun’s corona and travel to the earth.
September is National Preparedness Month (NPM), a time when Americans are encouraged to become prepared for all types of emergencies, including natural disasters. Coordinated by FEMA in collaboration with Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations at all levels, the NPM campaign calls on employers, schools, churches and other kinds of organizations, as well as individuals and families, to get involved, get prepared and stay prepared. Because practicing what to do before a disaster will help you prepare to handle situations that could occur.
On July 8, Governor Jay Inslee and the Washington State Department of Commerce announced more than $14 million in smart grid matching grants from the State’s Clean Energy Fund. This funding will help three utilities – Avista Corp., Puget Sound Energy and Snohomish Public Utility District – test and deploy new energy storage technologies designed to help integrate renewable sources of energy such as wind and solar onto the electric grid. The aim is to support greater deployment of these technologies and build a grid that is more efficient, flexible and resilient to the effects of climate change.
The U.S. electric grid provides the foundation for America’s economic success. Our digital economy, our national security, and our day-to-day lives are highly dependent on reliable, safe, and affordable electricity. To take advantage of technological advances and to meet society’s changing expectations and preferences, our nation’s grid must evolve, as well.
Synchrophasors are starting a revolution, enabling a level of observation and control never envisioned when the grid was designed. Real-time awareness of the grid’s operating conditions helps to enhance reliability and assists in integrating clean energy technologies.