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WASHINGTON, DC -- Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today announced the completion of the merger of the former Office of Electric Transmission and Distribution and Office of Energy Assurance into the new Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability (OE) whose goal is to lead national efforts to modernize the electric grid, enhance security and reliability of the energy infrastructure, and facilitate recovery from disruptions to energy supply.

"DOE’s new office will focus efforts on the essential mission of modernizing our electricity grid. As we saw in the blackouts of 2001 and 2003, a faulty infrastructure can cost our economy billions of dollars," said Secretary Bodman. "America’s electricity infrastructure is old; in some places it is approaching antiquity. It is critical that we take a comprehensive look and proactively work to address any potential problems."

The merger was recommended by Congress and approved by Secretary Bodman in February 2005.

Primarily, the office will support research, development, demonstration, technology transfer, and education and activities necessary to enhance national energy security. Partnerships to engage industry, utilities, States, other Federal programs and agencies, universities, national laboratories, and other stakeholders in OE’s efforts to ensure a more reliable, efficient, and affordable national electricity supply will continue to be a key element of the program.

Kevin Kolevar, the Director of the Office of Electricity and Energy Assurance will head the office under its new name and structure.

The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability will carry out work in the following areas:

Research and Development - OE research and development will be responsible for managing a portfolio of projects for "next generation" electric delivery technologies and supporting activities to accelerate their introduction to the marketplace.

Permitting, Siting and, Analysis - OE Permitting, Siting and Analysis Division will be responsible for authorizing international transmission facilities and exports of electric energy, assisting regional and state electricity planning efforts, and providing analysis of electricity policy initiatives and legislative proposals in an effort to promote efficiency, environmental sustainability, and competition in the electric power industry both domestically and internationally.

Infrastructure Security and Energy Restoration - OE will coordinate the Department of Energy’s response to energy emergencies, assist State and local governments and the private sector to recover from disruptions to the energy infrastructure. Further, the office will work with governments and industry to develop a viable critical infrastructure protection program to ensure a secure and reliable flow of energy. A National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) Site Office will also be an important part of the new organization, supporting OE’s infrastructure and emergency response efforts with research and development expertise.

Media contact:
Tom Welch, 202/586-5806