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Energy Assurance and Resiliency

Energy Assurance

The Commonwealth’s Emergency Support Function #12 and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) Energy Assurance Plan (ENAP) provides guidance for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania staff in charge of preparing for, responding to, and recovering from energy emergencies. The PA DEP’s Energy Programs Office (EPO) shares responsibility for energy assurance in the Commonwealth with the DEP Environmental Emergency Response Manager and the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PA PUC). EPO and PA PUC partner with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and PA Department of Homeland Security (PA DHS) to prepare for, monitor, and respond to energy assurance concerns. EPO is primarily responsible for liquid fuels energy emergencies, including those involving petroleum and propane supply disruptions, while the PA PUC is primarily responsible for electric and natural gas energy emergencies. EPO staff integrate energy assurance and resiliency planning into other projects and programs such as the Climate Program and projects funded under the State Energy Program. This includes projects aimed at bolstering resiliency through promoting energy efficiency, alternative energy and energy diversification. EPO staff work closely with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response and the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) who provide technical assistance, education and outreach to support states' energy assurance planning, response, and smart grid resiliency efforts.

Petroleum Shortage Response Plan

The Petroleum Shortage Response Plan, an Appendix to the PA DEP ENAP, includes detailed contingency measures for addressing petroleum shortages, including addressing priority needs for end users of petroleum and other liquid fuels during emergencies. The Petroleum Shortage Response Plan includes procedures for the petroleum sector to collectively address supply and infrastructure issues to avoid and/or mitigate fuel shortages for end users.  Planning and coordination of efforts among the private sector energy providers that produce, transport, and distribute petroleum products is critical to preventing and/or minimizing supply disruptions at an intra-state, interstate, and regional level. A guide book is now available.

Healthcare Facility Energy Emergency Planning

Healthcare facilities such as hospitals and long-term care facilities are community lifelines, and depend on energy, including liquid fuels, for a number of essential functions.  EPO has contracted with ICF to develop educational materials and virtual workshops to assist these critical facilities in preparing for energy emergencies.

Planning resources include:

Virtual trainings for healthcare facilities on liquid fuels energy assurance planning are being held in May 2021.

Use the links below to register for the upcoming virtual trainings:

Local Energy Emergency Planning

To assist counties in emergency response planning, EPO staff contracted with ICF to:

  1. Develop an Energy Assurance Emergency Planning Template for use by local governments to develop robust Energy Assurance Emergency Plans. The template also includes a survey tool for Liquid Fuels Shortage Planning to be used by local governments to determine liquid-fuel needs and resources available prior to an emergency.
  2. Develop training and outreach materials to support local governments in their energy assurance planning efforts.

These materials are being used for regional trainings to help counties test their preparedness for a diverse range of energy emergency events. The workbook and template together further enhance coordination of efforts among the state and local government and private sectors to prepare for energy supply disruptions.

Energy Resiliency

Energy Storage

Energy storage deployment has grown rapidly across the United States over the last decade and can address many priorities and challenges currently facing the energy sector. Energy storage can help integrate increasing levels of renewable energy into the grid and reduce the environmental impacts of electricity production. Additionally, energy storage can improve the resilience of the electrical grid, ensure reliable service, and decrease costs to ratepayers. Recognizing these potential benefits, EPO retained Strategen Consulting, LLC to consider the role that energy storage may play in the state’s future power system. To that end, this assessment aims to survey the current landscape of energy storage in Pennsylvania, explore the potential applications and benefits of energy storage, identify barriers to further deployment, and provide recommendations to enhance the market for energy storage in the state. The assessment is titled “Pennsylvania Energy Storage Assessment: Status, Barriers and Opportunities”.