New National Effort to Ensure Electric Grid Resilience

As a result of growing concern over the impacts of more frequent and more powerful storms battering the nation's electric grid infrastructure, as well as the increasing frequency and threat of manmade threats to cripple the grid, the U.S. Department of Energy has announced a new initiative, called the North American Energy Resilience Model (NAERM).

A collaboration between the Department of Energy, its National Laboratories, and industry, the NAERM will develop a comprehensive resilience modeling system for the North American energy sector infrastructure, which includes the United States and interconnected portions of Canada and Mexico.

"The United States is increasingly experiencing threats, natural and manmade," the DOE stated. "The NAERM will enable prediction of the impact of threats, evaluation and identification of effective mitigation strategies, and support for black start planning, benefiting the United States by enhancing energy and economic security."

The NAERM will advance existing capabilities to model, simulate and assess the behavior of electric power systems.

"Integration of expertise at the National Laboratories, plus data integration and collaboration from all stakeholders (which will include the nation's electric utilities), will support threat characterization for the energy sector across varying geographic areas and supporting sectors," the DOE stated

Phase 1 will focus on long-term planning with offline data. Phase 2 will focus on situational awareness and operational planning with streaming of data at a national level.

Ultimately, the model will be the foundation for analyzing the power system and its interdependencies with other infrastructures in real time.

"The NAERM capability will be a first-of-its-kind globally and improve energy sector resilience for the well-being of our citizens and national security," the DOE stated.

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