Congress acts to protect critical electric infrastructure
USA, Washington D.C.: On 4 December 2015 President Obama signed into law the so-called “FAST Act”— Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act – which includes energy security amendments to the Federal Power Act (“FPA”), several of which affect utilities and other parties in the electric industry such as regulators, owners, operators, and users of electric generation and transmission infrastructure.
With regard to planning for strategic reserve of spare large power transformers and emergency mobile substations, the new law requires DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, to submit a plan to Congress evaluating the feasibility of establishing a Strategic Transformer Reserve for storage in strategic locations of spare large power transformers and emergency mobile substations.
The plan would determine adequate amounts and locations to temporarily replace critically damaged large power transformers and substations.
DOE’s plan must include the funding options available to establish and maintain the Strategic Transformer Reserve, including imposing fees on owners and operators of bulk-power system facilities and critical electrical infrastructure (CEI).
Additionally, the plan must assess the possibility of imposing fees on the large power transformer owner/operators and substations that constitute CEI to pay for Strategic Transformer Reserve operating costs.