Public power utilities are not alone when it comes to figuring out how to implement and understand new technologies. In addition to the various information, training, and support the American Public Power Association provides, public power can access technical assistance from the following array of sources. Note: This list is not comprehensive, and not all public power utilities will meet the eligibility criteria for each program below.
Department of Energy: The DOE oversees a variety of programs offering technical assistance to utilities, including:
- Energy Sector Operational Support for Cyber Resilience program includes technical assistance for small electric utilities for assessing and improving cybersecurity.
- Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program is a new program established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help rural, municipal, and small investor-owned electric utilities enhance their security posture and increase their participation in threat information sharing programs.
- Cybersecurity for Energy Delivery Systems is a program to spur the development of next-generation tools and technologies that would reduce the risk of a cyber incident disrupting the energy system, including electricity generation, transmission, and distribution.
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: Offers a variety of assessment tools, training, and support for utilities on cybersecurity. Assistance offerings include having cybersecurity professionals conduct a Cyber Resilience Review assessment, getting regional cyber support, analysis of industrial control system hardware and other assets, and other evaluations.
APPA-DOE Cooperative Agreements: APPA has several cooperative agreements with the Department of Energy, including those focused on improving aspects of cybersecurity in the public power community, such as the deployment of OT cybersecurity sensors to utilities or to develop training courses and publications.
Disaster Preparedness and Response
Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Pre-Disaster Mitigation: This program helps state and local governments to plan for and implement sustainable cost-effective measures to reduce the risk to individuals and property from future natural hazards, while also reducing the need to rely on federal funding for future disasters.
- Hazard Mitigation Grant Program: This program supports state and local governments in implementing projects that will reduce or eliminate the losses from future disasters. The program is only available after a major disaster declaration.
- Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities: This program focuses on proactive investment in community resilience, such as through partnerships, shared funding mechanisms, and/or project design. The program has an added focus on infrastructure projects, which utilities could use to increase energy resiliency.
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Community Development Block Grant Mitigation program is a opportunity for areas that experienced recent disasters to mitigate disaster risks and reduce future losses.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration offers free consultation for small workplaces to identify workplace hazards, advise on compliance with OSHA standards, and assist in establishing and improving safety and health programs.
System and Community Planning
National Community Solar Partnership
DOE and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory offer free technical assistance on a rolling basis for those seeking to create and demonstrate practical, effective, and scalable community solar models. Assistance can be for researching policies and regulations, analysis of project financing, developing outreach and engagement strategies, designing a program, or in working through technical issues related to a community solar project.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
USDA’s Electric Program provides financing and technical support to electric utilities that serve customers in rural areas to develop key electric infrastructure, conduct damage assessments and restoration efforts, implement energy efficiency measures, and more.
U.S. Economic Development Administration
The Public Works and Economic Adjustment program supports economic development, workforce development opportunities, and private investment through infrastructure, including technical assistance to economically distressed communities.
Environmental Protection Agency
EPA offers several technical assistance opportunities for local and tribal governments under its Smart Growth initiative, including the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program, Cool & Connected program for broadband, and Recreation Economy for Rural Communities.
Western Area Power Administration
The Transmission Infrastructure Program is aimed at expanding and modernizing the electric grid, eligible entities can leverage federal funds and expertise to support the development of critical transmission and related infrastructure.