The Department of Energy is soliciting public insights on a program funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that seeks to improve the cybersecurity posture of electric utilities owned by small investors, rural communities and municipalities.
The current administration is allocating $250 million in funding for the Rural and Municipal Utility Advanced Cybersecurity Grant and Technical Assistance Program over five years to help utilities improve incident response, enhance their workforce’s cybersecurity skills and strengthen their systems, assets and processes, DOE said Thursday.
The request for information seeks feedback on ways to improve threat information sharing, risks related to technologies fielded on the electric grid, opportunities to advance partnerships, national efforts to improve cybersecurity of rural utilities and selection criteria for funding awards, among others.
According to the department, the RMUC Program will offer technical and financial support to help municipal and rural utilities enhance operational capabilities, deploy cyber platforms and increase their access to cybersecurity support services.
“This new program reflects the Biden Administration’s commitment to improving energy reliability and connecting our nation’s rural communities to resilient energy infrastructure and the transformative benefits that come with it,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm.
Responses to the RFI are due Dec. 19.