Energy assurance plans get $8M from DOE

19 February 2010 - Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the Department of Energy is making selection of awards for more than $8 million to 43 cities and towns across the country to develop or expand local energy assurance plans that will improve electricity reliability and energy security in these communities. These emergency preparedness plans, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help ensure local governments can recover and restore power quickly following any energy supply disruptions.

“These awards will help communities plan for quick, effective responses to a range of potential energy emergencies,” said Secretary Chu. “Energy assurance planning at the local level provides important support for our national security, limiting the costs and damages from blackouts and other energy disruptions and ensuring power is restored to homes and businesses as quickly as possible.”

This is the first time that the Department of Energy will provide grants to local communities for energy assurance planning. Today’s Recovery Act awards will benefit almost 15 million citizens in 25 states by focusing on improved emergency planning for the entire energy supply system, including the electricity grid, refining, storage, and distribution of fossil fuels and renewable energy sources. Plans will include how to ease the impacts of short-term energy disruptions along with strategies to deal with sustained energy outages.

These Local Energy Assurance Planning (LEAP) funds will allow local governments to hire and train staff and expand their capabilities to respond to a variety of energy emergencies such as blackouts, hurricanes, floods, ice storms, or possible terrorist attacks. Each community will identify and assess energy supply disruption scenarios; train personnel on energy infrastructure and supply systems; and increase their knowledge of local energy interdependencies to reduce their response, restoration and recovery time. Additionally, the LEAP funding will facilitate information sharing and coordination between states, local jurisdictions, and industry, reducing duplication and decreasing the time required to recover and restore the energy infrastructure.

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