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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 14, 2017 01:38 PM
From: Senator Bob Mensch
To: All Senate members
Subject: The Energy Resiliency and Emergency Preparedness Act
In the very near future, I plan to introduce the Energy Resiliency and Emergency Preparedness Act.

In recent years, Pennsylvania has experienced an unprecedented number of extreme weather events. The emergency response to these events is often further complicated by large-scale electrical system outages.

Although Pennsylvania’s current response to these events is satisfactory, technologies are emerging that will enable Pennsylvania to achieve higher levels of grid resiliency; the type of resiliency that is needed to support our emergency and disaster response capabilities.

My proposal will encourage the deployment and use of new technologies such as micro grids and energy grid storage capabilities as part of a pilot program.

Microgrids are sections of the electric grid that are designed to operate independently of the larger utility grid through on-site control systems and distributed energy resources that provide transformational levels of reliability and resiliency at strategic locations.

Essentially, they are “grids within the grid” that can maintain critical electric service even when large segments of the transmission or distribution grid are taken out of service as a result of natural disasters or other emergency events.

This legislation will authorize utilities to develop microgrid pilots and submit these pilot projects to the PUC for review. The pilots could include all components of these integrated systems, including back-up and distributed generation, energy storage and on-site operational systems.

The development and use of these technologies will also assist in providing clean energy such as solar that can be distributed into the grid; carrying the potential to promote high tech business endeavors in Pennsylvania.

Finally, this legislation will create the regulatory framework necessary to support the development of microgrid pilot projects to explore their potential value.

I ask that you please join me in increasing Pennsylvania’s energy reliability and resiliency, and in ensuring we utilize new technologies to provide transformative levels of service to residents.

Please contact Mark Fetzko of my office if you have any questions or concerns related to this information.