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DOE Announces PERFORM Grant Recipients

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Henry Craver's picture
Small Business Owner Self-employed

As a small business owner, I'm always trying to find ways to cut costs and boost the dependability of my services. To that end, I've become increasingly invested in learning about energy saving...

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  • Apr 24, 2020
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This morning, the Department of Energy announced $25 million in funding for research projects on grid security and reliability. This is part of a pre-existing initiative called the Performance-based Energy Resource Feedback, Optimization, and Risk Management(PERFORM) program. The DOE’s online announcement sums up the goals of the project with a pair of quotes:

“Ensuring the reliability of our Nation’s critical energy infrastructure and electric grid is of the utmost importance to America’s energy security and national security,” said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. “Investing in new technologies and systems that minimize risk and bolster the reliability of U.S. energy will allow us to utilize all of our abundant energy resources in a more integrated and secure manner.”

“Our grid is a crucial asset in supplying reliable power to millions of Americans across the nation.” said Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy Director Lane Genatowski. “These PERFORM teams will develop the tools to further optimize renewable resources into the grid,  improving reliability, reducing energy imports, and further strengthening a pathway to sustainable energy independence.”

Browsing the grant recipient list, it looks like the money has been awarded to a pretty even spread of public and private entities. 

This is just the beginning of what should be a big year for grid security research. In response to a number of cyber attacks last spring, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee pushed through legislation in early December that is supposed to invest $250 million into our grid’s cyber defense systems from 2020-2024. The bill, dubbed the Protecting Resources on the Electric Grid with Cybersecurity Technology (PROTECT), would make such funds possible through a federal grant program designed to help small utilities harden their cyber protection mechanisms. In addition to forking over cash, the program, headed by the Energy Department, would give recipients technical help in detecting, responding to and recovering from cyber breaches. 

It’s great to see our grid’s security taken seriously, and refreshing that partisanship doesn’t seem to hamstring action on the subject.


 

Henry Craver's picture
Thank Henry for the Post!
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Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Dr. Amal Khashab on Apr 24, 2020

250 million USD is a good deal for cyber defense research as a start.

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