[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 126 (Wednesday, July 1, 2015)]
[Pages 37606-37607]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-16186]



Electric Grid Resilience Self-Assessment Tool for Distribution 

AGENCY: Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. 
Department of Energy.

ACTION: Request for Information.


SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Electricity Delivery 
and Energy Reliability (OE) is seeking comments and information from 
interested parties to inform the development of a pilot project 
concerning an interactive self-assessment tool to understand the 
relative resilience level of national electric grid distribution 
systems to extreme weather events. An interactive tool could be used by 
distribution utilities to identify opportunities for enhancing 
resilience with new technologies and/or procedures to support 
investment planning and related tariff filings. The focus of this 
Request for Information (RFI) is on the design and implementation of 
the interactive self-assessment resilience tool.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before August 17, 2015.

ADDRESSES: Comments can be submitted by any of the following methods 
and must be identified by ``EGRtool''. By email: [email protected] . 
Include ``EGRtool'' in the subject line of the message. By mail: Dan 
Ton, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. 
Department of Energy, Forrestal Building, Room 6E-092, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585. Note: Delivery of the 
U.S. Postal Service mail to DOE may be delayed by several weeks due to 
security screening. DOE, therefore, encourages those wishing to comment 
to submit comments electronically by email.
    For additional information, please contact Dan Ton, Office of 
Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, U.S. Department of Energy, 
1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585; Telephone: (202) 586-
4618; email: [email protected].


I. Background

    With the release of Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-21), the 
nation has started to focus in earnest on the resilience of our 
critical infrastructure. In the face of the increasing extreme weather 
events and other stresses or disturbances, the resilience of critical 
infrastructure, especially the energy infrastructure, has become 
paramount. Building upon the insights that have been gained through the 
development of the Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model, the 
Electricity Subsector Cybersecurity Capability Maturity Model, and the 
Smart Grid Maturity Model, DOE-OE would like to build a complementary 
capability regarding the resilience of electric distribution 
    For the purposes of this RFI, the definition of resilience is ``the 
ability of an entity--e.g., asset, organization, community, region--to 
anticipate, resist, absorb, respond to, adapt to, and recover from a 
disturbance.'' \1\

    \1\ Carlson, L., et al., 2012, Resilience Theory and 
Applications, Argonne National Laboratory, Decision and Information 
Sciences Division, ANL/DIS-12-1, Argonne, Ill, USA, available at 
http://www.dis.anl.gov/pubs/72218.pdf (accessed April 9, 2015).

    This definition provides the framework for four domains that can be 
used to understand the current level of resilience of distribution 
system infrastructure. Through these domains, distribution utilities 
will be able to make informed decisions on strengthening resiliency, 
based on identifiable areas where future investments in new 
technologies and operating procedures could be made. The four domains 
    Preparedness: Activities undertaken by an entity in anticipation of 
the threats/hazards, and the possible consequences, to which it is 
    Mitigation Measures: Characterize the facility's capabilities to 
resist a threat/hazard or to absorb the consequences from the threat/
    Response Capabilities: Immediate and ongoing activities, tasks, 
programs, and systems that have been undertaken or developed to respond 
and adapt to the adverse effects of an event.
    Recovery Mechanisms: Activities and programs designed to be 
effective and efficient in returning operating conditions to a level 
that is acceptable to the entity.

[[Page 37607]]

    Underneath all four domains lie questions that contains specific 
information for each of the domains. Examples of questions that can be 
asked with specific reference to resilience are:

--What procedures are included in your emergency action plan? 
--To date, what smart grid technologies have you incorporated into your 
distribution system? [Mitigation Measures]
--Does the control and dispatch center use a distribution management 
system? [Response Capabilities]
--What service restoration method(s) does the utility use? [Recovery 
    For each of these questions there will be a set of distinct 
answers. This method of construction allows consistent, objective 
information collection for all entities interested in using the model. 
In cooperation with the utility industry, a working group will be 
created to assist in determining the direction of the program.

II. Request for Information

    In order to develop this pilot project, DOE would like input from 
resilience experts in the electric distribution industry to gauge the 
interest and usefulness of the proposed decision support tool. This RFI 
provides the public and industry stakeholders with the opportunity to 
provide their view on the development of a resilience tool. The intent 
of this RFI is to solicit information pertinent to the need and 
viability of the resilience assessment tool. The information obtained 
is meant to be used by DOE for tool design and strategy development 
purposes. In your comments, please reference the question(s) to which 
you are responding, as well as provide other pertinent information.

A. Resilience Assessment Tool Need

    (1) Would a resilience assessment tool be of interest for electric 
distribution utilities?
    (2) What would you like to see in such a model should it exist 
(i.e., functionality, presentation, accessibility?)

B. Resilience Tool Criteria/Domains

    There are four key domains proposed for resilience: preparedness, 
mitigation measures, response and recovery. Each of these components 
has subcomponents as detailed below:
    a. Preparedness: Awareness and Planning.
    b. Mitigation Measures: Extreme Weather Mitigation, Utility 
Mitigation, and Dependencies Mitigation.
    c. Response Capabilities: Internal Capabilities and External 
    d. Recovery Mechanisms: Resource Restoration Agreements and Utility 
Service Restoration.
    (3) Do these components and subcomponents make sense as 
contributors to electric distribution system resilience?
    (4) What is missing, or should be taken away?

C. Data Protection

    (5) What are your concerns about data protection if asked to submit 
anonymous aggregate data for a national average for electric 
distribution resilience?
    (6) Data protection is recognized as an important consideration for 
utility participation in such an assessment model. What are your 
opinions and recommendations on data protection?

D. Working Group Participation

    (7) Would your utility be willing to participate in a working group 
intent on constructing the relative importance of the different 
components and subcomponents to the overall resilience of the system? 
Who would be the appropriate person within your utility to participate 
in such a working group?
    (8) Are there others who you would suggest to provide early 
feedback on tool development?
    (9) Is your utility interested in being part of a demonstration or 
pilot during early testing?

E. Other Feedback

    Additional comments that may not be captured in replies these 
questions, but are considered relevant by respondents are highly 

    Authority: Presidential Policy Directive-21.

    Issued at Washington, DC, on June 25, 2015.
Patricia A. Hoffman,
Assistant Secretary, Department of Energy, Office of Electricity 
Delivery and Energy Reliability.
[FR Doc. 2015-16186 Filed 6-30-15; 8:45 am]