Washington, DC –Congressman Jim Himes today announced over $500,000 in funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to improve Connecticut’s emergency preparedness and ensure quick recovery from energy supply disruptions. Funds will be used by the state government to hire or retrain staff and expand capacity to respond to challenges to the energy system, including emergencies such as blackouts, hurricanes, ice storms, and disruptions to heating supplies.

“This investment is critical to the reliability of our electricity  supply, and in turn, Connecticut’s economic and energy security,” said Congressman Himes. “By enhancing our ability to quickly respond to energy disruptions, we are providing the stability necessary to support Connecticut’s long-term economic growth.”

Connecticut will use the funds to plan for energy supply disruptions to lessen the devastating impact that those incidents can have on the economy and the health and safety of the public. This Recovery Act award will support Connecticut’s efforts to modernize the electrical grid. Specifically, the investment will help address cyber-security concerns and prepare for the challenges of integrating smart grid technologies and renewable energy sources into the transmission network.

The grant requires the state to track energy emergencies to assess the restoration and recovery times of any supply disruptions; to train appropriate personnel on energy infrastructure and supply systems; and conduct and participate in state and regional energy emergency exercises to evaluate the effectiveness of their energy assurance plans.