Improving Critical Facility Energy Resilience with Onsite Generation and Storage
With adverse events, such as severe weather and cyber threats, becoming more common, it is important that we increase the resilience and reliability of Pennsylvania’s critical facilities and infrastructure.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has held webinars on this important topic that addressed such questions as:
- How are traditional backup systems different from onsite generation, storage, and microgrids?
- What makes one a better choice than the others?
- What grants or other funding sources are available for resilience projects?
- How can resilience projects be developed to maximize their impact for communities?
The slide deck is available here.
DEP hired a contractor to conduct initial feasibility studies at critical facilities to determine if onside energy generation and storage technology would help promote resiliency and lessen the impacts of power outages during adverse events. In the first cohort, shelters, an Emergency Operation Center, Wastewater Treatment Plant and a fire hall were investigated in different areas of the state.
If you are interested in having a preliminary storage analysis done for your critical facility please contact DEP at
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. To learn more about Pennsylvania’s initiatives to advance energy storage deployment, including information on the newly formed Pennsylvania Energy Storage Consortium, please see our
Energy Storage page.
There you can also find the assessment titled “Pennsylvania Energy Storage Assessment: Status, Barriers and Opportunities”. 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 Commonwealth’s Emergency Support Function #12 and Pennsylvania State Energy Security Plan (SESP) 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.
Liquid Fuel Planning Resources
Local Energy Emergency Planning
To assist counties in emergency response planning, EPO staff contracted with ICF to provide the following resources for local governments:
These materials can help counties test their preparedness for a diverse range of energy emergency events. The workbook and template together can be used by local governments to develop robust Energy Assurance 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. These resources also further enhance coordination of efforts among the state and local government and private sectors to prepare for energy supply disruptions.
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:
- Liquid Fuels Shortage Planning Guidebook - highlights energy assurance planning best practices before, during and after energy emergencies, and includes instructions on using the template.
- Healthcare Facility Energy Assurance Planning Template for use by healthcare facilities to determining liquid fuel needs and develop liquid fuels energy assurance plans.
- Virtual training webinar and PowerPoint presentation provides an overview on the fuel supply chain, reviews key elements of the Healthcare Facility Energy Assurance Planning Template and Guidebook, and real-world examples of energy emergencies shard by Power for Patients and fuel sector professionals.