Hawaii One of Four States Selected for Energy Security Exercise

Posted on Oct 29, 2019 in News

Hawaii State Energy Office
For Immediate Release: Oct. 29, 2019

HONOLULU—Hawaii was one of four states selected by the National Governors Association to participate in a state-focused technical assistance project to enhance their experiences in the GridEx V energy security exercise.

GridEx is a remote, biennial exercise conducted by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) to simulate a cyber and physical attack on the electric grid across North America. Participants include members of the electric sector, other critical infrastructure operators, law enforcement, and state, local and federal officials from across the country. The GridEx V exercise will take place Nov. 13-14, 2019.

“We appreciate the National Governors Association’s inclusion of Hawaii in this important exercise at a time when increasing attention is being focused on grid security,” said Hawaii Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn. “We look forward to sharing Hawaii’s unique experience with its isolated electric grids and learning about the best practices being employed by other states as they deal with grid security issues.”

The Hawaii State Energy Office and the State of Hawaii Department of Defense Office of Homeland Security jointly submitted Hawaii’s application to participate in the exercise.

“The NGA workshop and technical assistance is a great opportunity to advance our critical energy infrastructure planning and resiliency activities, and specifically our strategic communications strategy,” said Delores Cook, administrator for the Hawaii Office of Homeland Security.

“This exercise will give us a chance to strengthen crisis communications relationships and identify and discuss interdependencies between the energy sector and other lifeline critical infrastructure sectors relevant to response and recovery from a prolonged power outage with physical and cyber elements,” said Mark Want, HSEO energy analyst.

Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response, NGA teams will work with the four states to prepare for, participate in, and share lessons and best practices from the exercise via phone consultations, an in-person workshop and action planning. Other states participating besides Hawaii are Colorado, Idaho and Maryland.

During the exercise, participants will remotely respond to simulated cyber and physical events to determine how their organizations, including governors and states, might respond in a real-world event. Governors play critical roles during widespread electric grid outages and NGA’s project will help participating states improve their ability to respond and recover from these incidents, enhance emergency communications, build relationships with electricity and other critical infrastructure operators, and identify infrastructure resilience needs.

After the exercise, the four selected states will contribute to an after-action report to identify state-focused challenges and lessons learned. The state teams also will participate in a two-day, post exercise workshop with experts, in which they will explore these results and lessons further and develop action plans to improve energy security in their states.

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The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is an attached agency of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. With the state’s goal to reach 100 percent renewable energy generation by 2045, HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high impact solutions that will maximize Hawaii’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO has positioned Hawaii as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities and accelerate economic growth.

Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the nonpartisan organization of the nation’s 55 governors. Through NGA, governors share best practices, address issues of national and state interest and share innovative solutions that improve state government and support the principles of federalism.

Alan Yonan Jr.
Communications Officer
Hawaii State Energy Office
(808) 587-3860