The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) announced its intent to issue a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) to enhance the cybersecurity posture of electric cooperative, municipal, and small investor-owned utilities. These new awards – made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law – will result in a more secure and resilient energy grid that is better prepared to meet the cybersecurity threats facing electric utilities.
This Rural and Municipal Utility Cybersecurity (RMUC) Program Advanced Cybersecurity Technology (ACT) FOA aims to fund projects in the following three topic areas:
- Support implementation of cybersecurity technologies, tools, training, and improvements in processes and procedures for eligible electric utilities;
- Strengthen the Peer-to-Peer and Not-for-Profit technical assistance ecosystem currently serving eligible electric utilities; and,
- Increase access to technical assistance and training for eligible utilities with limited cybersecurity resources.
DOE CESER expects to make $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.
In addition to this Funding Opportunity Announcement, the RMUC Program is also offering the Advanced Cybersecurity Technology (ACT) 1 Prize, which will award $8.96 million in cash prizes and technical assistance to eligible utilities. The deadline for ACT 1 Prize submissions is November 29, 2023.
All electric utilities can now register for industrial control systems (ICS) cybersecurity training supported by CESER. The 3-day training courses will be offered with no registration fee to electric utility staff. For more information about the RMUC Program or cybersecurity training opportunities, please visit Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance (RMUC) Program | Department of Energy.