Governor Martin O'Malley today released findings and recommendations to improve the resiliency of Maryland's electric distribution system. The report, "Weathering the Storm: Report of the Grid Resiliency Taskforce," contains 11 recommendations, including a four-step implementation plan that would accelerate investment designed to strengthen Maryland's distribution grid. The report also contains data from the utilities regarding outage patterns and staffing levels.
Eight roundtable discussions featuring community leaders, policy experts, and industry stakeholders from across the country have been held in Annapolis since the Governor issued an Executive Order in response to extreme weather and prolonged electricity outages.
"This report provides a blueprint to help us strengthen the resiliency of our electric grid," said Governor O'Malley. "We must make the investments needed to support a 21st century utility infrastructure. I'd like to thank all of the experts who worked diligently to find sound solutions so we can move forward together and work to make Maryland's electric distribution system more reliable for our families."
The Task Force evaluated the effectiveness and feasibility of undergrounding supply and distribution lines in selected areas, and the effectiveness of infrastructure investments, utility staffing levels, emergency procedures, and options for cost recovery for capital investments to improve the resiliency and reliability of the electric distribution system. One of the recommendations also included allowing the utilities timely cost recovery for their accelerated infrastructure improvements.
"I'm pleased to have participated in these conversations," said Abigail Ross Hopper, Acting Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. "As a result of this process, I am convinced that Maryland's distribution system can be strengthened -- that we can literally weather the storm -- if appropriate investments are made and processes are improved."