The SMART (Saving More American Resources Today) Grid Study Act introduced by U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. has been passed by the House Committee on Homeland Security as an amendment to the National Cybersecurity & Critical Infrastructure Protection Act (NCCIP).

The amendment was borne out of a bill introduced by Congressman Payne in August 2013 as bipartisan legislation to examine and mitigate for natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy.

The amendment will:

  • Direct $2 million to be used toward a comprehensive study conducted by the National Research Council in full cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies as necessary.
  • Provide an assessment of actions necessary to expand and strengthen the capabilities of the electric grid to prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and recover from a natural disaster and cyber attacks.
  • Provide for a comprehensive outline of the construction and technical development stages, costs, jobs created, and protections associated with fully upgrading the electric grid.

“I am very pleased that the Committee accepted my bill as an amendment today,” said Congressman Payne. “We have seen how natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy can devastate our power grid and expose us to cyber attacks by outside actors. My amendment will fully explore the steps we can take to strengthen our power grid, reduce the devastation of these threats, and make us more secure in the process.”

The amendment is supported by the National Electrical Manufacturer’s Association (NEMA), Demand Response & Smart Grid Coalition (DRSG), and the American Public Power Association (APPA). It requires zero additional funding by Congress as the study will be paid for by amounts already assigned to the Department of Homeland Security.