Grant funds to update Arizona's energy emergency plan
Arizona’s major energy disaster plan is being updated through a $250,000 grant with the goal of assuring energy sources continue to operate in the state during a natural or manmade disaster. The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA), Arizona State University (ASU) and numerous other stakeholders will develop workshops and drills, as well as review and update the existing Arizona Energy Assurance Plan to ensure Arizona’s energy resources are kept secure and running in the event of an emergency.
The funding provides for the development of additional workforce training in the energy sector, revisions to the current plan and the ability to include the energy sector in a large regional emergency management exercise, which will be led by the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.
“This is a serious and concentrated effort to prepare for if and when an energy disruption threatens the public health safety or welfare, or when the energy industry determines it needs to turn to state government for assistance,” said Janice See, energy assurance manager with the Arizona Commerce Authority. “Arizona’s energy industry is a first responder to disruption of the power supply and has adequately managed outages. We hope we never need to use Arizona’s Energy Assurance Plan, but we must be prepared.”
Danny Peterson, professor of practice in ASU’s College of Technology and Innovation, is leading a team of faculty in the revision of the existing energy plan, which will include renewable energy sources, and the development of an energy workforce training plan. ASU also will develop and conduct an energy emergency tabletop exercise to evaluate Arizona’s capability to coordinate and communicate state-wide on energy security, reliability and emergency response issues.
“This project will be achieved by multiple public and private sector partners working together,” said Peterson. “In the end, the plan is to strengthen and expand public and private energy assurance planning and resiliency efforts to prepare for events that may adversely affect the public’s welfare and safety.”
Arizona’s efforts to protect critical energy infrastructure and build its resilience are consistent with the State Homeland Security Strategy and the National Infrastructure Protection Plan.
Funding for this project comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Governor Jan Brewer’s Office provides updates on Arizona’s ARRA applications and programs at www.azrecovery.gov.
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