For Immediate Release - April 13, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Awards Federal Stimulus Contract to Update Commonwealth's Energy Assurance Plan

BOSTON - Monday, April 12, 2010 - As part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's Massachusetts Recovery Plan to secure the state's economic future, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Ian Bowles today announced the award of $458,500 in federal stimulus funds for a project that will strengthen and expand the Commonwealth's energy assurance and emergency preparedness plans.

"Ensuring the Commonwealth's energy security is critical to efforts to safeguard the well-being of Massachusetts residents and the continued growth of our economy," said Governor Deval Patrick. "I'm pleased that we are putting federal Recovery dollars to work on this important effort."

"Recent changes in the energy industry and supply delivery systems make updating and improving the Commonwealth's Energy Assurance Plan critical to ensuring that we are prepared in the event of an energy supply disruption," said Secretary Bowles. "This federal stimulus-funded project will bolster the state government's ability to anticipate and effectively respond to various types of energy emergencies."

Using $458,500 in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funding, EEA's Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has contracted with R. W. Beck, a Seattle firm with offices in Boston, to complete a three-part project that includes:

  • Vulnerability and risk analysis of critical energy infrastructure;
  • A revised, enhanced Energy Assurance Plan; and
  • An intrastate exercise to evaluate the effectiveness of the Plan.

The DOER project, which will be conducted collaboratively with energy industry representatives and other stakeholders, is paid for by the U.S. Department of Energy under a grant designed to fund projects that "facilitate recovery from disruptions to energy supply" and "enhance reliability and quicker repair of outages."

"This project will establish a new framework for state government to increase our resiliency," DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice said. "Working together on the new Energy Assurance Plan to be completed next year will provide key officials and agencies with a better understanding of energy infrastructure and delivery systems, potential risks and mitigation opportunities, energy supply impacts resulting from disruptions, and methods to alleviate emergency situations."

Investment in the Commonwealth's energy security is a critical component of Governor Patrick's Massachusetts Recovery Plan. The Massachusetts Recovery Plan combines state, federal and, where possible, private efforts to provide immediate and long-term relief and position the Commonwealth for recovery in the following ways:

  • Deliver immediate relief by investing in the road, bridge and rail projects that put people to work today and providing safety net services that sustain people who are especially vulnerable during an economic crisis;
  • Build a better tomorrow through education and infrastructure investments that strengthen our economic competitiveness, prepare workers for the jobs of the future, and support clean energy, broadband, and technology projects that cut costs while growing the economy; and

Reform state government by eliminating the pension and ethics loopholes that discredit the work of government and revitalize the transportation networks that have suffered from decades of neglect and inaction.