WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration is establishing an Energy Resilient Infrastructure and Climate Adaptation (ERICA) initiative to improve mission delivery resiliency. ERICA will also help NNSA meet legislative, Executive Order, and DOE/NNSA climate adaptation, resilience, and sustainability requirements.
The initiative, outlined in the President’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Request, will be a critical element of NNSA’s multi-faceted strategy to identify, prioritize, and implement infrastructure investments that increase energy resilience, energy security, and sustainability in support of the agency’s national security missions.
Floods, wildfires, storms, and extreme heat and cold have the potential to jeopardize NNSA’s mission and increase operational cost. For example, the polar vortex that hit Texas in February 2021 caused operations at Pantex Plant to shut down for a week to conserve energy.
“We must act now to improve NNSA’s mission delivery resiliency in the face of these climate conditions,” said Ken Sheely, NNSA’s Acting Associate Administrator for Safety, Infrastructure, and Operations. “NNSA is launching the ERICA initiative to build upon our sustainability successes by reinforcing climate resilience as an essential element of our infrastructure modernization and national security mission.”
Using direct- and indirect-funded infrastructure programs and alternative financing, ERICA will invest in sustainability and resilience projects across the Nuclear Security Enterprise as part of the collaborative effort to promote, develop, and implement infrastructure solutions that support diverse requirements across the agency and government. Pending appropriations, ERICA will start in FY2023 and grow over the Future Years Nuclear Security Program. Examples of the types of project proposals considered for ERICA funding include renewable energy generation, battery storage, and other power and water system upgrades.