This report reviews the electric power industry’s efforts to protect the grid and to protect against possible harm to our nation’s power supply. It also recommends further initiatives that can help to strengthen and enhance resiliency.
In this report, we discuss the likelihood of extreme geomagnetic storms, specific vulnerabilities of the North American power grid, the regions at highest risk from this complex natural hazard and the implications for the insurance industry and society generally.
The US Army War College held a workshop in 2010 to discuss how an EMP would affect military planning. This report documents the activities and conclusions of that workshop.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an important study consisting of a series of comprehensive technical reports produced by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (for FERC) in joint sponsorship with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It was issued to provide the basis for a technical understanding of how EMP threats affect the power grid. Metatech Corporation of Goleta, CA prepared the reports under the direction of Dr. Ben McConnell of the Power and Energy Systems Group at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) partnered in July of 2009 on an effort to address High-Impact, Low-Frequency risks to the North American bulk power system. In August, NERC formed a steering committee made up of industry and risk experts to lead the development of an initial workshop on the subject, chaired by Scott Moore, VP Transmission System & Region Operations for American Electric Power, and Robert Stephan, Former Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection in the National Protection and Programs Directorate of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The approximately 110 attendees at the closed session included representatives from the United States’ Congressional Staff, Department of Defense (DOD), DHS, DOE, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), EMP Commission, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Representatives from each of the North American electric industry’s major sectors, including investor owned utilities, cooperatives, and municipal utilities were also in attendance. The workshop was divided into three tracks: Cyber or Physical Coordinated Attack, Pandemic, and Geomagnetic Disturbance / Electro-magnetic Pulse risk. Each track was given a set of questions to answer as part of a moderated, interactive dialog designed to identify next steps on each of these risks. Topics discussed during the working sessions included: approaches to measure and monitor HILF risks, potential mitigation steps, and formulating an effective public/private partnership to more effectively address these issues. Focus was given to determining the appropriate balance of prevention, resilience, and restoration.