US, Canada grid security and resilience strategy

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The governments of the United States and Canada have released a joint strategy for ensuring the security and resilience of their electric grid.  In recognition of the interconnected nature of the North American electric grid, the document, "Joint United States-Canada Electric Grid Security and Resilience Strategy," describes the nations' shared goals and objectives.  An action plan released alongside the strategy presents U.S. steps and milestones toward achieving the strategy's desired outcomes.

The joint strategy centers on a vision of "a secure and resilient electric grid that is able to withstand hazards and recover efficiently from disruptions."  Recognizing that this grid is made up of a variety of interconnected entities -- including federal, territorial, municipal, co-operative, and investor-owned and operated utilities -- the strategy identifies three overarching goals:
  • Protect Today’s Electric Grid and Enhance Preparedness: A secure and resilient electric grid that protects system assets and critical functions and is able to withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions is a priority for the governments of both the United States and Canada.
  • Manage Contingencies and Enhance Response and Recovery Efforts: The Strategy sets out a shared approach for enhancing continuity and response capabilities, supporting mutual aid arrangements such as cyber mutual assistance across a diverse set of stakeholders, understanding interdependencies, and expanding available tools for recovery and rebuilding. 
  • Build a More Secure and Resilient Future Electric Grid: The United States and Canada are working to build a more secure and resilient electric grid that is responsive to a variety of threats, hazards, and vulnerabilities, including increased threats from climate change. To achieve this, the electric grid will need to be more flexible and agile, with an architecture into which new technologies may be readily incorporated.
Beyond the joint strategy, each participating country has also developed its own individual action plan describing steps and milestones toward the strategic goals.  The U.S. National Electric Grid Security and Resilience Action Plan was released concurrently with the Strategy.

The action plan is generally non-binding on the U.S., and it is unclear whether the incoming Trump administration would adopt the plan, as opposed to revising or scrapping it.  Nevertheless the joint U.S.-Canada grid security and resilience strategy and the U.S. action plan may inform future efforts to strengthen the North American electric grid against risk and disturbance.

No comments:

Post a Comment