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Critical Infrastructure, Cybersecurity and Resilience



The reliability and resilience of the energy system is drawing increasing levels of attention from state regulators. While reliability is a broadly accepted term with well-defined metrics, resilience—the ability of the system to anticipate, absorb, recover from, and adapt to disruptive events, particularly high-impact, low-frequency events—is not yet incorporated into regulatory processes. NARUC is undertaking efforts to support state regulators’ approaches to defining and quantifying the benefits of resilience investments that reduce the likelihood, duration, and impacts of interruptions to electricity service.

The U.S. Department of Energy, Solar Energy Technologies Office, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory facilitated the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) to support diverse stakeholder teams in efforts to navigate challenges related to solar energy adoption. In 2018 – 2019, NARUC partnered with Converge Strategies and PJM Interconnection through this program to explore the applications of distributed energy resources and large-scale solar plus storage projects to support both bulk power and distribution-level resilience.  

Resilience activities are coordinated with the Committee on Critical Infrastructure, Committee on Energy Resources and the Environment, and Staff Subcommittee on Electric Reliability and Resilience.

  • Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: A Review of State Policies, April 2020
    Utility regulators and other stakeholders need to improve their understanding of resilience and how distributed energy resources can facilitate recovery from disruptions and threats. This report addresses the role of state regulators in electricity system resilience, the relationship of distributed energy resources to resilience, and how states can implement policies to expand DER deployment to improve resilience.
  • Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: Key Questions and Resources, April 2020
    As a companion piece to Advancing Electric System Resilience with Distributed Energy Resources: A Review of State Policies, this publication provides a foundation for state public utility commissions to frame how they review proposed utility investments that could offer resilience benefits and includes a list of relevant resources to improve regulators' ability to oversee resilience investments and obtain better outcomes for customers.
  • The Value of Resilience for Distributed Energy Resources: An Overview of Current Analytical Practices, April 2019
    Planning for long-duration power interruptions caused by high-impact, low-probability events requires new approaches to power system resilience above and beyond previous hardening efforts. This report examines both regulatory decision-making and non-regulatory cost-benefit analyses to determine if, and how, a value of energy resilience was calculated and applied to proposed investments. Four criteria were used to evaluate the methodologies, including the method’s ease of use, scope of outputs, geographic scalability, and power interruption duration analysis capability. Some of the valuation methodologies examined in the report may be useful in regulatory decision-making; however, none of the methods reviewed met all four criteria for regulator usefulness and usability, and no single method is capable of capturing all regulatory concerns regarding the resilience value of DERs.
  • DOE-NARUC Regulating for Resilience Workshop, San Antonio, TX, November 20, 2019
    As states, utilities, and other stakeholders seek to reduce the consequences of disruptions to the electric power sector from threats such as severe weather, cyber-attacks, and accidents, the need for regulators to consider how resilience can be properly internalized is coming into sharp focus. States, utilities, municipalities, and customers are increasingly taking steps to improve our communities’ resilience yet are doing so without the benefit of an established, clear and comprehensive set of planning considerations for grid resilience. Objectives for this workshop include: (1) to present and discuss work to date on overcoming critical barriers to development of a structured resilience framework; and (2) to explore commission experiences and needs related to important resilience topics.Summary forthcoming
  • PJM-NARUC Joint Stakeholder Workshop: How Can Distributed Energy Resources Advance System Resilience? Orlando, FL, November 14, 2018
  • The Intersection of Resilience and Distributed Energy Resources: PJM Stakeholder Meeting, Valley Forge, PA, September 27, 2018
  • The Intersection of Resilience and Distributed Energy Resources: NARUC Stakeholder Meeting, Scottsdale, AZ, July 14, 2018

NARUC is grateful for funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Solar Energy Technologies Office and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) through the Solar Energy Innovation Network (SEIN) and DOE Office of Electricity, Transmission Permitting and Technical Assistance Office, which have enabled the resources and activities described on this webpage.

NARUC staff experts who support these activities include: