Smart grid legislation introduced in U.S. to investigate disaster impact mitigation


Donald M. Payne,
Washington DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — August 5, 2013 – The Saving More American Resources Today (SMART) Grid Study Act of 2013 has been introduced as bipartisan legislation to the U.S. Congress in order to examine steps that can be taken to prevent the damages caused by disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and mitigate the huge costs that consistently accrue on the backend of a disaster.

“We know that natural disasters can wreak havoc on our power systems, as we saw many people in my district were without power for nearly two weeks after Hurricane Sandy,” said Congressmen Donald M. Payne, Jr., the original author of the bill. “There has also been a significant increase in cyber attacks from outside actors to our critical infrastructure. These disasters, whether man-made or by Mother Nature, are a drain on our economy and make us vulnerable to potentially more devastating attacks. Clearly, our electric grid needs an upgrade. That’s why I am pleased to be working across the aisle in taking the first step toward preventing against another Sandy-like disaster to our electric grid and making New Jersey more secure in the process.”

A release from Congressmen Payne, Jr’s office says the SMART Grid Study Act authorizes:

  • A $2.1 million comprehensive study by the National Research Council in full cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Energy, and other government agencies.
  • A comprehensive assessment of actions necessary to expand and strengthen the capabilities of the electrical power system to prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and recover from a natural disaster or cyber attacks.
  • Assess the options for improving the nation’s ability to expand and strengthen the capabilities of the power grid.
  • The study of the grid’s abilities to adapt to the changing patterns of demand for electricity, to store and transfer power across energy sectors and geographic regions, and to recover from disruptions such as natural disasters and cyber attacks.
  • Identify the barriers to realizing the options and barriers to upgrading fully to a smart grid system.
  • Assess the ability of the grid to integrate existing and future infrastructure, including utilities, telecommunications lines, highways, and other critical infrastructure.

The results of the study would be used to determine additional ways Congress can help in improving and upgrading the country’s electric grid so that it is smarter and better able to adapt to threats.