DOE National Laboratories and Energy Organizations Will Explore Ways to Protect the Grid from Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP) Attacks and Geomagnetic Disturbances (GMD) 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $4 million for four projects focused on developing and deploying solutions to risks posed by intentional electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks and naturally occurring geomagnetic disturbance (GMD) events. Both events can significantly damage U.S. critical energy infrastructure, causing extended power outages, damaged pipelines, and other impacts to U.S. energy systems.

These awards support DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) efforts to model, assess, and test EMP/GMD vulnerabilities and their estimated system impacts in partnership with four national laboratory-lead teams that include participation from: Sandia National Laboratories, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

“It’s critical that we continue protecting and preparing the U.S. critical infrastructure against threats of EMP/GMD events,” said Puesh Kumar, CESER’s Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary. “With these partnerships and our ongoing work with the Electric Power Research Institute and Electricity Subsector Coordinating Council, we’re continuing to strengthen the U.S. energy sector from all hazards.”

With this award announcement, CESER is seeking to advance methods and tools to harden the energy sector’s resilience to EMP/GMD events.

Other partners include the Electric Power Research Institute, Texas A&M University, Air Force Research Laboratory, and the Western Area Power Administration. The selected teams are also enlisting the help of a number of utilities to provide guidance and promote validated technologies in unpaid advisory roles.

In addition to the lab call awards, CESER is engaged in a variety of EMP/GMD activities, including nine pilots to field deploy mitigation technologies.

For more information on the awards, please email GMD.EMPannouncement@netl.doe.gov.