The U.S. Department of Energy on Nov. 16 announced a $70 million funding opportunity to enhance the cybersecurity posture of electric cooperative, municipal, and small investor-owned utilities.
The Rural and Municipal Utility Cybersecurity program published a Notice of Intent to provide $70 million to utilities including public power utilities for cybersecurity prior to the Funding Opportunity Announcement.
Managed by the DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER), the Rural and Municipal Utility Cybersecurity (RMUC) Program’s Advanced Cybersecurity Technology (ACT) Funding Opportunity Announcement aims to fund projects in the following three topic areas:
- Support investments in cybersecurity technologies, tools, training, and improvements in processes and procedures for eligible electric utilities to improve their cybersecurity posture;
- Strengthen the peer-to-peer and not-for-profit technical assistance ecosystem currently serving eligible electric utilities by providing funding for technology investments; and
- Increase access to technical assistance and training for eligible utilities with limited cybersecurity resources by providing funding that will broaden the scope of products and services available.
DOE CESER is making $70 million of federal funding available for new awards, subject to the availability of funds.
CESER anticipates having three topic areas and awarding up to 10 financial assistance awards in each topic area. CESER may issue one, multiple, or no awards.
The estimated period of performance for each award will be approximately 24-48 months.
Additional Cybersecurity Resources for Rural and Municipal Utilities
In addition to the FOA, CESER is also offering the RMUC Program Advanced Cybersecurity Technology (ACT) 1 Prize and a series of cybersecurity training events.
The RMUC Program ACT 1 Prize will award $8.96 million to eligible utilities with limited cybersecurity resources or that serve military installations.
Up to 55 winning utilities will compete for $200,000 in cash prizes and technical assistance. The deadline for ACT 1 Prize submissions is November 29, 2023.
Starting October 31, 2023, CESER launched a new 3-day industrial control systems cybersecurity training event for technical practitioners in the grid. There will be six events, one located in each of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) regions. These training events are free for electric utility staff.
For more information about the RMUC Program or cybersecurity training opportunities, visit Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance (RMUC) Program | Department of Energy.