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Oct 7 -- The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) is seeking information from universities and private-sector firms, including non-profit organizations, on their capabilities for providing assistance to States, U.S. Territories, Indian Tribes, and other eligible entities to enhance their ability to plan and implement strategies for improving the resilience of systems that deliver electric power. Towards that aim, DOE requests that interested parties provide responses to the set of questions presented within this notice. DOE intends to use this information to ascertain the best available resources and approach for carrying out a technical assistance program under the Infrastructure Improvement and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA). Responses to the RFI must be received by no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT on November 21, 2022.

The purpose of the IIJA section 40101, Preventing Outages and Enhancing the Resilience of the Electric Grid, is to help States, U.S. Territories, Indian Tribes, and other entities eligible to receive funding deploy a variety of measures to improve the resilience of the electric grid against disruptive events in which the operations of the electric grid are disrupted, preventively shut off, or cannot operate safely due to extreme weather, wildfire, natural disasters, or cyber-attacks. These measures may range from hardening assets to deploying more advanced practices and grid technologies, including energy storage systems and microgrids, for improving resilience.

Under this program, DOE is interested in helping entities better understand the implication of threats to their electricity delivery system and determine strategies for improving its resilience. This may include the formulation of planning guidelines that set priorities for mitigating impacts to critical facilities and services, as well as for investments that will lead to measurable enhancements in the resilience of infrastructure intended to provide reliable electric power. In addition, DOE will encourage the application of energy justice principles in efforts to determine and implement resilience measures so that the benefits derived from them are realized in an equitable manner by all.

The technical assistance envisioned would apply expert capabilities in several areas including, for example:

1. Forecasting methods and tools to determine customer electricity demand, the adoption of distributed energy resources, and weather/climate parameters (e.g., temperature, rainfall, windspeed, flooding/inundation) at national, regional, and local levels.

2. Risk assessment methods, tools, and processes to examine risks and their impacts on energy infrastructure, essential human services (e.g., water supply and emergency services), and vulnerable populations to prioritize resilience investments.

3. Modeling and simulation methods and tools to determine the severity and impact of threats on energy and electricity infrastructure at national, regional, and local levels.

4. Methods and tools for multi-objective decision analysis to enable the prioritization of electric infrastructure investment options across a range of policy objectives.

5. Methods and tools for addressing energy equity (e.g., relating to procedural, distributive, and restorative energy justice principles) in the determination of resilience measures.

6. Cost-effectiveness methods and tools to ascertain the appropriateness and benefit of infrastructure investments to aid decision-making.

Where it may pertain to their specific capabilities, areas of expertise, or business interests, DOE would like interested parties to provide responses to the following questions:

1. What methods, tools, and datasets would you recommend for undertaking efforts associated with any of the areas of expertise listed previously? What methods, tools, and datasets are you developing, have developed, and/or applied for undertaking any of these areas of expertise? What additional advancements (e.g., spatial or temporal resolution) are needed to improve these methods, tools, and datasets?

2. What approaches (e.g., partnerships and business models) would you recommend for providing services and technical assistance in the areas of expertise listed above? What successful approaches have you observed and/or have undertaken in providing such services and technical assistance in ways that have specifically benefited States, U.S. Territories, Indian Tribes, and/or other eligible entities?

3. What are the current limitations in planning frameworks for improving the resilience of electricity delivery systems and how would you address them?

FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-21892

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