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Overview:

The Office of electricity Delivery and Energy reliability (OE) is the department of Energy’s lead company for managing the nation’s delivery of electricity to homes, businesses and also government buildings. The OE oversees maintain and advancement to the U.S. Electrical grid to minimize the threat of big blackouts, such together those resulted in by Hurricanes Sandy and also Irene, and also the one the hit huge parts of the Midwest and Northeast in 2003. In the wake up of the 2003 outage, the George W. Bush management pushed with a controversial delivery in the 2005 power bill that offered the federal government the capacity to override local and also state government objections to building brand-new power lines and transmission towers. The OE also works with the room of Homeland protection on efforts to defend the U.S. Grid indigenous potential cyberattacks.

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History:

On respectable 14, 2003, the U.S. Experienced among the worst power interruptions in the nation’s history. Huge portions the the American Midwest and also Northeast, and Ontario, Canada, were hit by a huge blackout the affected more than 50 million people and caused in between $4 billion and $10 billion in loss in the U.S.

Only 5 months earlier, the U.S. Room of energy had produced two offices to handle different facets of electrical energy delivery: the Office of electric Transmission and Distribution (TD) and also the Office of energy Assurance (EA). The TD to be charged v advancing brand-new energy innovations to enhance the power of the U.S. Electrical grid, and also the EA to be tasked with coordinating federal solution to power crises and also developing strategies to far better protect the electric grid from blackouts.

During the respectable blackout, EA staff assisted power companies lug power ago online to components of brand-new York City. TD staff operated with a US/Canada Power mechanism Outage Task pressure to analyze the reasons of the blackout and also recommend future measures to avoid a reoccurrence. The reason of the blackout was eventually blamed on FirstEnergy Corporation, an Ohio strength company, which commonwealth investigators blamed for no cutting off power to the Cleveland area to avoid the cascading effect that lugged down power across other states and Canada.

Despite these efforts by the EA and also TD, the George W. Bush management decided, as part of the energy Policy action of 2005 (pdf), come consolidate the work-related of both offices into a brand-new organization: the Office of electricity Delivery and Energy integrity (OE), led through a director. Along with elements the the DOE Fossil energy office, the OE came to be the federal government’s lead agency for all matters pertaining come the shipment of electricity.

The 2005 power bill included amongst its countless provisions a controversial move to pressure private and public landowners to offer up their residential property for the building of brand-new electrical towers and also transmission currently designed to expand the strength capacity of the national grid (see Controversies).

In 2007, the OE was elevated in status once the position of director (held by Kevin Kolevar at that time) was transformed right into an assistant secretary post.

President Barack Obama has made the his goal to modernize the nation’s electrical energy transmission network toward what has pertained to be known as the smart grid. In the power provisions (pdf) of the 2009 economic stimulation bill, $3.4 billion to be earmarked because that this effort. Suitable industry capital was intended to bring the complete investment come $8 billion. Together a an outcome of smart-grid implementation, the U.S. Could reap the advantage of a 12% palliation in carbon emissions by 2030, follow to the forecast of a 2010 DOE rap report (pdf).

Utility might Have halted '03 Blackout, Panel claims (by Richard Pérez-Peña, new York Times)


What the Does:

Located within the department of Energy, the Office of electricity Delivery and also Energy reliability (OE) is in fee of overseeing the access of electricity throughout the country. The OE provides sure the U.S. Electric grid is working properly, both now and in the future as brand-new technologies become obtainable to far better provide electrical company to American homes, businesses and governments. The OE funds research study and advancement programs that check out new method of storing and also delivering electricity. The office additionally works to identify any infrastructure troubles that could potentially cause large-scale strength outages, such together the 2003 blackout. Working with other federal agencies, the OE prepares because that responding to any kind of outages that might stem indigenous terrorist-related attacks on the electric grid.

The OE’s operating structure is composed of 5 primary departments that lug out the office’s myriad responsibilities. Those five divisions, and their subordinate offices and also programs, space as follows:

The Power Systems engineering Research and advance (PSE R&D) division focuses on arising “next generation” equipment, software, tools and techniques to help modernize the electric grid. Jobs are planned and also implemented in cooperation with other federal programs, utility companies, equipment manufacturers, local and state governments, nationwide laboratories, and universities. R&D efforts include:

The framework Security & energy Restoration (ISER) division works through the room of countryside Security, the Federal power Regulatory Commission and also other national, regional, state and local governments, and also commercial institutions to address emergencies affecting the electrical grid. The ISER analyzes framework vulnerabilities and recommends preventive measures, helps various other agencies prepare for power outages, carries the end emergency power operations throughout a claimed emergency or nationwide security special event in accordance with the National response Plan and develops and also maintains a national energy cyber defense program. The ISER makes use of the national Energy an innovation Laboratory to aid with research study efforts.

The Smart Grid invest Program spearheads initiatives to deploy modernized smart-grid systems and also technologies to improve the nation’s electric power grid. It evaluates the performance of net technologies and also systems, communicates outcomes to stakeholders, developments cybersecurity tools and technologies, and also participates in the advance of smart-grid interoperability standards.

The National Electricity distribution Division (NEDD) leads initiatives to carry out technical aid to states, local entities, and tribes in support of your programs, policies, and laws that facilitate electricity infrastructure development. The NEDD likewise authorizes the violin of electricity, concerns permits for the building and construction of cross-border infection lines, and also works to boost the coordination of infection permits on federal lands.

The Energy framework Modeling and Analysis department (EIMA) supports power infrastructure advancement through such activities as electrical system modeling, synchrophasor-based tool development, transmission dependability research, dependability assessments, power security modeling and also visualization, and energy infrastructure risk analyses.

OE’s solutions include:

Strategic Plan

From the internet Site the the Office of electrical energy Delivery and also Energy Reliability

Blog Archive

Budget

Careers

Congressional Testimony

Contact Information

Cybersecurity

Emergency instance Report

History

Information Center

Leadership

Library

Meetings and Events

Mission

News and Blog

News and Materials

News Archive

Offices

Organization

Reporting

Services

Strategic Plan


where Does the Money Go:

The Office of electrical power Delivery and also Energy reliability (OE) has actually spent virtually $23.4 million on 39 contractor transactions in between FY 2003 and FY 2013, follow to USAspending.gov. The optimal five species of assets or services purchased through the OE throughout that period were miscellaneous professional services ($19,022,609), simple environmental sciences ($4,875,000), skilled support ($3,898,931), routine management and also support solutions ($1,637,296), and other support/management services ($200,000). The top five recipients of that contractor spending were:

1. VSE coporation, group $22,921,539

2. Battelle Memorial Institute, Inc. $4,875,000

3. SAIC Inc. $862,296

4. Systematic administration Services, Inc. $698,137

5. Alliance for Sustainable power LLC $561,457

OE spending, together delineated in its FY 2013 spending plan request of $143 million, consists of $103 million because that Research and Development; $6 million to aid states, regions, and also tribal federal governments in transforming their electrical energy policies; and also $6 million come support power infrastructure and also energy supply disruption recovery. Priority safety is targeted toward facility of the new Electricity solution Hub ($20 million), cybersecurity ($30 million), and progressed Modeling Grid research study ($10 million).

When it pertains to representing the understanding of the electric industry, the Edison electrical Institute (EEI) is the greatest player that OE must deal with. EEI represents approximately 70% the all electrical power companies in matters prior to Congress and also other commonwealth offices.

Complete perform of EEI member companies

Another vital industry stakeholder is the north American electric Reliability Corporation, a trade team that to adjust standards whereby utilities operate to certain the interconnection of strength grids across the country.

Because the United claims imports and exports electrical energy to Canada and also Mexico, power service providers from those two countries are also vital participants in OE activities. These foreign electrical power providers include:


Controversies:

Grid advancement Riddled with Financial Problems

The power Department was faulted by its very own inspector general (IG) in 2013 for making improper payment to building contractors as part of a troubled stimulus-funded program.

A crucial area of worry was initiatives to develop a “smart grid” utilizing money indigenous the 2009 stimulus-spending bill.

“In the absence of far-reaching improvements, the routine is at risk of no meeting that is objectives and has an boosted risk of fraud, waste, and abuse,” the IG warned in the report.

The program’s problems had been elevated before, in a 2012 report as well.

The IG looked in ~ 11 that 32 projects financed by the department of power (DOE) Office of power Delivery and also Energy integrity (OE), which doled out nearly $700 million in stimulus resources to assistance the usefulness that smart-grid technology.

The office discovered extensive gaue won mismanagement to the tune of an ext than $12 million of the $279 million because that those 11 projects. It included almost $10 million in payments based on estimates quite than actual costs and also paying a receiver for work-related that had already been paid for by one more government agency.

Stupid Grids (Washington complimentary Beacon)

The room of Energy's $700 Million smart Grid Demonstration regime Funded through the American Recovery and also Reinvestment act of 2009 (Department of energy Inspector General)

The Department's administration of the clever Grid Investment approve Program (Department of power Inspector General)

Threat come the grid by EMPs Left Unaddressed

Concerns end the results of electromagnetic pulse (EMP) go back to the Cold War, once scientists an initial learned the full impact of nuclear tools on the atmosphere.

In 1962, the joined States performed one that its numerous nuclear bomb exam in the Pacific Ocean. The explosion, referred to as Starfish Prime, all of sudden wreaked electromagnetic havoc in Honolulu, Hawaii, 900 miles away. The EMP knocked out hundreds of streetlights, triggered burglar alarms, and also disrupted interisland phone call service. And in 1989, a solar storm shut under Quebec’s strength grid for nine hours.

Scientists and government officials due to the fact that at least 2004 have actually speculated about what would occur to American culture if an EMP to be unleashed end the U.S., either together a result of a atom detonation or native the sunlight via solar storms.

Any nation possessing nuclear weapons could, in theory, produce an EMP if it has a an effective enough weapon and also manages to detonate it in ~ the proper altitude.

This very issue to be raised following the issuing that a report through the Obama White House and the OE in 2013 about widespread strength outages because of major weather top top the U.S. Electric grid system.

The report, title the “Economic benefits of Increasing electrical Grid Resilience to Weather Outages,” stated the cost of outages take it various develops such as shed output and wages, spoiled inventory, delayed production, inconvenience, and damage to the electrical grid.

But the report made no cite of the potential influence of EMPs on the grid.

F. Michael Maloof in ~ WND provided that the EMP hazard was addressed by the congressionally mandated EMP Commission, i beg your pardon issued its very own report top top the devastating results of one EMP incident, whether organic or man-made, top top the U.S. Electrical grids and all of the an important infrastructures it supports.

In addition, the previous director for the main Intelligence Agency, James Woolsey, has voiced comparable warnings if serving together co-chairman the a one-of-a-kind EMP panel.

Woolsey warned the a country such together North Korea can launch a atom weapon equipped with a “super-EMP” warhead and also explode it at a high-altitude over the densely populated Boston-to-Washington D.C. Corridor.

Solar Superstorm could Knock Out us Power grid - experts (by Deborah Zabarenko, Reuters)

White home Report Ignores Life-Or-Death hazard (by F. Michael Maloof, WND)

Cyber-Attacks, attacks on the Grid, Electromagnetic Pulses and also Geomagnetic Storms, oh My! (by Herman Trabish, GreenTechMedia)

Transformers and also Terrorists: Report kept Under Wraps

The commonwealth government lastly released a report in 2012 ~ above the vulnerability the the U.S. Power grid to terror attacks and natural disasters, following five years of keeping it surprise away.

Produced through the nationwide Research Council, the report was an alleged to be released to the general public in 2007. But the department of landscape Security determined the file should be classified. It then took 5 years because that the academy to to convince officials to review the group decision and eventually reverse it.

The report discovered that the electric grid is prone to disruption by a small variety of knowledgeable attackers or from organic disasters. It deemed transmission lines, spanning hundreds of miles, and transformers and other mainly unguarded an essential facilities to it is in the most fragile parts of the system. The report was more concerned about physical strikes than cyberattacks.

“We recognize the should safeguard security information that might need to remain classified,” Ralph J. Cicerone, chairman of the national Academy that Sciences, and also Charles M. Vest, president of the nationwide Academy of Engineering, wrote in the report’s foreword. “But openness is likewise required to advice the progression with current an innovation and implementation of study and development of new technology to far better protect the nation from terrorism and also other threats.”

Academy Report on electrical Grid Withheld for 5 Years (by Steven Aftergood, Secrecy News)

Terrorism and the electrical Power delivery System (National study Council)

Electric power Grid 'Inherently Vulnerable' to terrorist Attacks; Report delay in classification Review, will Be to update (National study Council)

Government Watchdog Warns against Vulnerability of electrical Grid (by Matt Bewig, bsci-ch.org)

Report top top Vulnerability of electric Power Grid finally Released after ~ 5 year (by Noel Brinkerhoff, bsci-ch.org)

Rush to fund Projects Compromising national Security

Concerns within the Obama management to obtain the economic climate going again compelled the DOE to rush the distribution of stimulus resources for details projects—and in the procedure potentially compromise nationwide security.

The DOE’s IG reported in 2012 the recipients the the smart Grid Investment approve Program received $3.5 billion to modernize and improve the dependability of the U.S. Strength grid. Yet the plan of many grant recipients to prevent “malicious cyber attacks” were deemed poor for the task.

“In our evaluation of defense plans,” the report said, “we provided that the plans did not always include sufficient information related to risk assessments and/or other important elements, and, that they did not completely address many of the weaknesses initially established by the Department.”

The IG’s office introduced its audit after the found difficulties with the Federal power Regulatory Commission’s monitoring procedures of cyber-grid security, and after the government Accountability Office discovered and also reported on weakness in the “implementation and enforcement of clever Grid cyber-security guidelines.”

Did DOE rush to give Away stimulus Compromise nationwide Security? (by Paul Chesser, nationwide Legal and Policy Center)

The Department's administration of the clever Grid Investment provide Program (Department of power Inspector General)

Federal energy Regulatory Commission's monitoring of PowerGrid Cyber security (Department of energy Inspector General)

Electricity grid Modernization: progress Being do on Cybersecurity Guidelines, but crucial Challenges stay to be addressed (Government Accountability Office)Department of power Launches initiative with market to much better Protect the Nation’s electrical Grid native Cyber risks (Department the Energy)

Doubts about Reliability that Clean power

President Barack Obama vowed throughout his an initial term in office to have actually 80% of the united States’ power (as protest to the existing 11%) produced from “clean energy” sources by 2035. But such a goal faced obstacles and questions by skeptics even if it is a grid so reliant on clean energy would be reliable.

In 2011, a team of experts reporting come the Federal power Regulatory Commission claimed that the power system might handle some rises in wind power with 2012. However the ability to manage expansion beyond that to be unknown.

“Careful study, planning, and deliberate actions will be forced by every interconnection to ensure the ongoing reliability of the U.S. Electric power system,” the professionals concluded in their report.

The complying with year produced far better news because that Obama’s plan. A study by the university of Delaware and also Delaware Technical neighborhood College concluded the renewable energy might reliably power a large electrical grid by 2030 almost 100% of the time, in ~ a expense equivalent to existing electricity prices.

The study additionally said fossil fuels would be provided as a backup arrangement in the occasion that renewable power sources and also stored strength weren’t may be to fulfill demand.

Renewable power is Reliable, brand-new Study claims (by Antonio Pasolini, Gizmag)

'Clean Energy' Expansion can Strain U.S. Strength Grid (by chris Hamby, center for windy Integrity)

Smart-Grid Delays cost Jobs

President Barack Obama’s stimulus regime was devised to create much more jobs because that Americans, which was why few of the money to be directed into the advance of smart-grid technology. Yet two years after adopting the billion-dollar package, capital for smart-grid programs had yielded little in the way of employment.

As of march 2011, only $1.8 billion in stimulus grants and private funding had to be expended on smart-grid programs. This funds may have actually created practically 2,800 brand-new jobs, follow to the OE.

“If one assumes that this represents only a portion of complete smart grid capital flowing through the industry, we deserve to only project 5,000 come 10,000 full smart grid jobs produced as a an outcome of this programs,” plunder Wilhite created at DNV KEMA power & Sustainability.

Wilhite composed in an additional blog entry the a full of 15,987 jobs at this time exist within the smart-grid segment that the energy industry. This figure still seemed low, follow to Wilhite, who wondered where the smart-grid work were, what with billions of dollars gift expended in federal and utility market spending.

“Have us over-estimated the stimulus impact from pumping almost $4.3B into this ar of the energy industry? Or is the too beforehand to measure up these impacts?” that asked.

Has clever Grid spending To date Fostered sufficient Job Creation? (by plunder Wilhite, DNV KEMA energy & Sustainability)

Smart energy Job expansion Exceeding smart Grid? (by plunder Wilhite, DNV KEMA power & Sustainability)

Smart grid in Limbo: COMED intimidates to pull Plug as ICC Balks (by Julie Wernau, Chicago Tribune)

Smart Meters produce Health and also Safety Concerns

Government agencies and also utilities have touted the benefits of convert to “smart meters” because that homes and also businesses to allow for much better tracking and managing of power use.

But complaints started to surface about the high-tech meters, with movie critics saying the devices were a danger to health (including damage to the endocrine and also immune systems), privacy (tracking customers’ utility usage), and also security (susceptibility come hacking).

In at the very least 15 instances in Pennsylvania alone in 2012, the meter overheated and caught fire, follow to news reports.

The backlash versus the meters motivated lawmakers in eight claims to adopt laws or regulations making it simpler for customers to opt the end of smart-meter programs and keep old analog meters.

Many space Claiming Health difficulties Caused by smart Meters (Society of environmental Journalists)

Utility clever Meters advanced Health, Privacy pertains to (by Alyssa Edes, Boston Globe)

Smart meters Spark dispute (by Sherry Ly, Fox 5)

Power Grab

When conference passed the 2005 energy bill, a delivery was contained that permitted the federal government to pressure state, local and private landholders to sell home that to be deemed vital for the production of brand-new transmission lines and towers. The brand-new electrical infrastructure helped kind the national Interest electrical Transmission Corridors driven by the George W. Bush administration to relieve congestion in key areas the the U.S. Electric grid.

The administration’s plan was met v opposition native Democrats and Republicans, ecological groups, historic societies and also state and also local governments. Traditionally, state, neighborhood and local governments have primarily identified the courses of strength lines. But under the corridors plan, the federal federal government is able to bypass state and local the opposite by permitting the Federal energy Regulatory the supervisory board (FERC)—not states—to be the last arbiter of where the lines are built. In October 2007, OE announced that the an initial two corridors would be constructed in the mid-Atlantic region that has counties in eight states and the district of Colombia and also a Southwest corridor the covers southerly California and parts the Arizona.

Opponents cited several involves while opposing the structure of the corridors. First, the brand-new electrical towers would be sited through some of the many scenic and historic areas in the eastern fifty percent of the country. Officials indigenous Virginia are pertained to the mid-Atlantic corridor could impact 11 historic districts, one national historic landmark, 19 state or national historic sites, seven Civil war battlefields and also the Appalachian Trail. Some of the most well known sites of the polite War—Manassas, Antietam, and Gettysburg—lie in ~ the Mid-Atlantic corridor.

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The mid-Atlantic corridor would also undermine Northeast states’ initiatives to minimize greenhouse-gas emissions by resulting in them to rely more on cheaper coal-fired strength from the Midwest, rather than cleaner but greater cost electric generators fired by organic gas.

National electrical Transmission Corridor Report and the Ordered nationwide Corridor Designations

DOE Designates Southwest Area and also Mid-Atlantic Area nationwide Interest electrical Transmission Corridors (pdf)

List of Counties and Cities contained in the Designated Corridors (pdf)

US Trumps states over Siting strength Lines: Designated as component of a nationwide power 'corridor' Tuesday, Virginia could see transmission towers near Civil war sites (by mark Clayton, Christian scientific research Monitor)

Mindlesser and Mindlesser (by Carl Pope, Huffington Post)

US Lists areas Where It might Force brand-new Power lines (by Matthew L. Wald, brand-new York Times)

National Interest electric Transmission Corridors: will certainly State Regulators stay

Relevant? (by Erich W. Struble) (pdf)

Energy Corridors, strength Lines Threaten nationwide Parkland (National Parks preservation Association)