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DOE seeks comments on draft US-Canada electric grid strategy

The U.S. Department of Energy is seeking feedback and ideason a proposed multitier plan between the U.S. and Canada to bolster thesecurity and resiliency of the North American electric grid.

The draft outlineof the joint U.S.-Canadian electric grid strategy and notice of request forpublic comments was published in the Federal Register July 20. The DOE said itis co-leading an interagency effort with the U.S. Department of HomelandSecurity and Canada's counterpart agencies to develop the proposed plan.

In the U.S.-Canada joint statement on climate, energy and Arctic leadership,released during Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's to Washington, D.C., in March, thetwo countries agreed to work together to strengthen the North Americanelectricity grid by combatting threats of cyberattacks and the impacts ofclimate change, among other things.

The purpose of the draft outline is to give the public aninitial view of potential goals, objectives and actions that could strengthengrid security as well as to solicit new ideas, according to the DOE's Office ofElectricity Delivery and Energy Reliability.

The agency said it is looking for feedback on how best todescribe the cyber and physical risks to electric grid systems, as well as howto address and mitigate those risks, suggestions for potential actions thatfederal departments and agencies could take to increase grid resiliency andsecurity, ideas for new ways to strengthen the future electric grid, andpotential timelines for future planning and investment opportunities.

Three main goals were included in the draft outline: protecttoday's grid and enhance preparedness, manage contingencies and enhanceresponse and recovery, and build a more secure and resilient future grid.Several objectives were also included under each goal.

The agency noted it hopes the plan will enhance informationsharing between government and industry, boost risk management, and improvetools used to monitor, detect, analyze, report and defend the grid.

Among the objectives are aligning standards, incentives andinvestment with security goals, developing and enhancing mutual assistance forboth cyber and physical threats, and coordinating grid integration acrossborders between the U.S. and Canada.

The final joint strategy is scheduled to be released inDecember.