State Summit on Energy Resilience Planning and Funding

State participants from Governors’ offices and state energy offices convened to discuss energy resilience best practices related to planning and governance, cross-sector interdependencies, making energy systems resilient to severe hazards, and identifying funding and financing opportunities. The virtual meeting, hosted by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and National Association of State Energy Officials, involved a combination of expert presentations with engaging breakout discussions to help state planning efforts to build pre-hazard mitigation strategies.

Virtual Meeting | July 28-29 & August 3-4, 2021| Download Agenda

Day 1 – Planning, Governance, and Resilience

Welcome Remarks and Overview

Representatives from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO), and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) welcomed attendees to the meeting, provided an overview of the topic, and reviewed the agenda.


  • Dan Lauf, Energy Program Director, NGA Center for Best Practices
  • David Terry, Executive Director, NASEO

Why Prepare? Energy System Threats and Opportunities for Resilience

With increased complexity and connectivity across a more distributed energy system, states are increasingly establishing robust, cross-sector resilience governance and practices. From hurricanes in the Atlantic to wildfires in the west, earthquakes to the threat of physical attack, these events cost billions of dollars annually and create hazardous situations for residents, particularly those in marginalized communities. In this session, a national expert on infrastructure resilience set the stage for the coming workshop with an overview of the threats facing energy infrastructure and solutions states and utilities can adopt.


  • Gaurav Gujral, Managing Director, Global Sustainability Lead for Public Services, Accenture | Presentation
  • Daniel Stevens, Global Utilities Lead for Emergency Management, Accenture

Moderator: Kirsten Verclas, Senior Program Director, NASEO

State Governance and Planning to Improve Energy Resilience

Energy resilience planning is complex, requiring prioritization across many assets and coordination amongst a wide array of entities, including state and local governments, utilities, and the private sector. As states seek to improve the ability of energy systems to withstand disasters and be brought back online quickly, deliberate planning, coordination, and investment will become increasingly important. In this session, state experts from multiple perspectives addressed the role energy is playing in state-wide resilience initiatives and explored the coordination and collaboration needed for success.


  • Dr. Mary Beth Tung, Director, Maryland Energy Administration
  • Mike Harryman, State Resilience Officer, Executive Office of Oregon Governor Kate Brown
  • Dr. Amanda Martin, Chief Resilience Officer, North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency | Presentation

Building Partnerships for Energy Resilience: A Perspective from the Utility Sector

With much of the energy infrastructure in the U.S. owned and operated by the private sector, state officials will need to work closely with electric and gas utilities to identify and address system vulnerabilities. In this session, an expert speaker provided a utility perspective on resilience, why it is needed, how the industry is addressing those needs, and opportunities for state partnerships.

Speaker: Brian Harrell, Vice President and Chief Security Officer, Avangrid | Presentation

Breakout Sessions

To round out the first day discussions, participants split into breakout rooms facilitated by moderators from NGA and NASEO on the following topics:

  1. Climate change and resilience
  2. Equity and resilience
  3. Energy jobs and resilience

Participants will have 30 minutes to discuss lessons learned, additional barriers, and share best practices for state energy resilience planning and coordination.

Participants split into three groups for 30 minutes before coming together to report out.

Day 2: Energy as a Cross-Sector Resilience Solution

Welcome, Introductions, and Overview of Day 2

This introductory session provided a brief overview of the day’s events and key themes.

Presenter: Dan Lauf, Energy Program Director, NGA Center for Best Practices

Reliable Transportation through Energy Resilience

Reliable transportation has always depended on a resilient supply of liquid fuels, but this dependence on energy is growing increasingly complex as transportation fuels supplies diversify to include electricity, natural gas, and biofuels. As Governors and state energy officials work to address energy resilience, there are considerable benefits to be had by prioritizing investment in the energy infrastructure relied upon by transportation networks.

Topics discussed include:

  • Resilient Petroleum Supplies for Fueling Stations
  • Resilient Power Charging Stations
  • Fuel Diversity for Fleet Resilience

Speaker: Prentiss Searles, Petroleum Marketing Policy Manager, American Petroleum Institute

Safe and Plentiful Water through Energy Resilience

The critical interdependence between energy and water is vitally important, as lacking reliable water can be catastrophic. Additionally, water treatment plants can lack the power to provide clean water for citizens and worsen a storm’s impacts. This session covered how water service can remain reliable as well as clean during severe weather.


  • Andy Kricun, Managing Director, Moonshot Missions
  • Alice Dasek, Project Officer, State Energy Program, U.S. Department of Energy

Improving Community Health through Resilient Energy

Keeping medical equipment operational is critical during energy disruptions and involves many stakeholders in the emergency management community. This session explored options to make health care systems more resilient as well as identified the key stakeholders to partner with during outages.


  • Diane Dubinski, State Healthcare Preparedness Coordinator, Tennessee Department of Health | Presentation
  • Chris Beck, Chief Scientist and Vice President for Policy, Electricity Infrastructure Security Council

Breakout Discussions: Energy and Transportation/Water/Health Resilience

After the three sessions on critical interdependencies, participants moved into breakout groups to discuss how they work through each resilience strategy. Moderators led participants through 20 minute sessions to discuss each topic, then came back together to report out relevant takeaways.

Day 3: Making Energy Systems Resilient to Climate Change and Severe Hazards

The panels and sessions on day three of the workshop focused on comprehensive energy resilience planning to address severe hazards and long-term climate shifts. Panels included discussions on challenges and considerations around clean energy transitions, the role of state PUCs and municipal electric utilities and rural cooperatives in resilience planning, electricity markets, and mission-critical facilities. These panels provided participants with the basic tools and initial steps to strengthen the resiliency of energy systems in the face of climate change and other hazards.

Welcome, Introductions, and Overview of Day 3

This introductory session provided a brief overview of the day’s events and key themes.

Presenter: Kirsten Verclas, Senior Program Director, NASEO

Resilience Planning: Severe Hazards & Long-Term Climate Shifts

This session looked at comprehensive energy system resilience planning, specifically to mitigate and adapt to severe natural and manmade hazards, and long-term climate shifts. These hazards include hurricanes, serious cold snaps, earthquakes, wildfires, and cyber-attacks. Long term climate shifts include drought, heat waves, and increased severity of storms. It also looked at the role of data for planning and risk assessments, including current tools and data available.

Moderator: Kenya Stump, Executive Director, Office of Energy Policy, Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet


  • Dr. Susan Wilhelm, Team Lead, Energy-Related Environmental Research, California Energy Commission | Presentation
  • Dr. Michael Webber, Professor in Energy Resources, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. C. Adam Schlosser, Senior Research Scientist, MIT Center for Global Change  Science

Breakout Sessions: Engaging Local Communities in Resilience

Session 1: Engaging Local Communities: The Role of Stakeholder Processes

Breakout session 1 explored the role of local engagement through stakeholder processes. Many state agencies engage with their local community on resilience efforts. This breakout session examined potential challenges, lessons learned, and innovative approaches, especially as states broaden stakeholder engagement to include energy justice and disadvantaged communities.

Moderator: Marion Gold, Senior Advisor, Electricity, NASEO

Presenter: Michelle Gransee, Director, Minnesota State Energy Office | Presentation

Session 2: Engaging Local Communities: A View of Municipal Electric Utilities and Rural Electric Cooperatives

Breakout session 2 looked at the role municipalities and rural electric cooperatives can and will play in resiliency planning. Municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives have a significant role to play in meeting clean energy goals, providing jobs, and bringing revenue to communities. Local governments and community members can offer input from experience and share what resources would be most beneficial to strengthen their energy system. Engaging the local communities that rely on these municipal utilities and electric cooperatives is key to resilience efforts.

Moderator: Ruchi Sadhir, Associate Director, Strategic Engagement and Development,Tribal Liaison, Oregon Department of Energy

Presenter: Debra Smith, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, Seattle City Light | Presentation

Clean Energy Transition’s Impact on Resilience

The energy system is changing as states seek to transition to cleaner energy sources. One concern is the decreased diversity of generation sources and potential lack of back-up capacities as more renewable energy generation (utility scale and distributed) is added to the electricity mix and other generation resources are taken offline. On the other hand, an increase in distributed generation has spurred microgrids and other decentralized generation sources which can increase resilience. Climate change will also have an impact on generation sources. This session examined how the changing energy system could enhance resilience, what challenges remain and potential considerations for state energy planning.

Moderator: Kirsten Verclas, Senior Program Director, NASEO


  • Krystal Laymon, Deputy Director for Climate Resilience, Council on Environmental  Quality
  • Stephen Walls, Energy Transition Initiative Program Lead, U.S. Department of Energy | Presentation
  • Aidan Tuohy, Program Manager, Electric Power Research Institute | Presentation

Breakout Sessions

Session 1: The Role of Electricity Markets in Regional Planning and Achieving Climate Goals

Electricity markets play an important role in many regions of the US. This session explored the role of markets in increasing the resilience of the energy system, some of its benefits and some of its challenges. It included a discussion of federal regulation (FERC) and the role of RTOs and explored how states can engage with both to support state energy resilience goals.

Moderator: Jennifer Richardson, Executive Director, Indiana Office of Energy Development

Presenter: Evelyn Robinson, Managing Partner-State Government Affairs, PJM Interconnection | Presentation

Session 2: Integrating Resilience for Mission-Critical Facilities and Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure

States and the federal government are working on integrating resilience for mission-critical facilities and Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure (DCEI) into energy planning. Maintaining DCEI is particularly critical to US national security. This session provided insights into how states can support mission-critical facilities (both on the state and federal level) and how federal and state partnerships can be leveraged.

Moderator: Commissioner Andrew McAllister, California Energy Commission

Presenter: Jonathon Monken, Principal, Converge Strategies | Presentation

Day 4: Prioritization, Funding, and Financing

The sessions and panels on day four of the workshop centered on prioritization, funding, and financing opportunities for energy resilience planning. Financing options discussed included federal programs, state funding mechanisms, the State Energy Program, and Public-Private Partnerships. The sessions shared examples of how states have leveraged various funding and financing opportunities to better protect their energy systems. An overview of how to prioritize resilience projects and which funding and financing opportunities to apply for was also explored. The discussion incorporated energy equity and community engagement concerns and lessons learned on how to prioritize energy justice communities in resilience planning and financing.

How to Prioritize Resilience Projects

States have many different options to support resilience projects, making criteria for prioritization an important aspect as states plan short- and long-term investments. This session explored potential criteria, how to identify and support vulnerable communities, and how to ensure rural and remote communities are being served. The session included a discussion on financing short versus long term investments. These investments include: electric/natural gas infrastructure hardening, mission critical efficiency and microgrids, and longer term strategies like building codes including building energy codes.

Moderator: Amy McGuire, Deputy Director, Emerging Technology Division, Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources


  • Sushma Masemore, Assistant Secretary for Environment and State Energy Director, North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality
  • Katherine Hammack, Director of Special Projects, Green Business Certification Inc, US Green Building Council | Presentation

Understanding and Accessing Federal Funding Opportunities

This session looked at federal funding opportunities, including FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC), FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), HUD’s Community Development Block Grant Mitigation (CDBG-MIT) and Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR), DOE’s Weather Assistance Program (WAP), and other federal financial assistance programs for resilience activities. There are multiple grants and programs available to states and this session gave an overview on what is available and how best to access and utilize the funds.


  • Patrick Forbes, Executive Director, Louisiana Office of Community Development | Presentation
  • Suzanne Groneman, Sustainability Program Manager, City of Reno | Presentation

Moderator: Virginia Castro, Energy Project Specialist, U.S. Department of Energy

Breakout Sessions: State Case Studies on Opportunities to Leverage the U.S. State Energy Program (SEP) in Resilience Planning

State Energy Offices have leveraged U.S. State Energy Program (SEP) funding to enhance energy system resilience. In these breakout sessions, State Energy Offices provided examples of successful projects and how they have used SEP funding. Additionally, and discussed how they have coordinated with other state agencies in supporting the projects.


  • Breakout 1: Amanda LeMaster, Energy Assurance and Resiliency Coordinator Kentucky Office of Energy Policy | Presentation
  • Breakout 2: Brandon Bowser, Energy Resilience Program Manager, Maryland Energy Administration
  • Breakout 3: Megan Levy, Local Energy Programs Manager and Energy Assurance Coordinator, Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation | Presentation

Leveraging Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) and State Funding & Financing Mechanisms for Resilience

This session explored P3 mechanisms and opportunities for supporting resilience upgrades and value enhancing facility upgrades. Mechanisms include energy savings performance (ESPCs) and emerging Energy-as-a-Service (EaaS) contracts that can be used to enhance resiliency of buildings and facilities. States also employ a variety of state funding and financing mechanisms that can be utilized for resiliency planning and project deployment. Speakers discussed how to leverage bonding, CPACE, green banks, and other innovative uses of state funding for energy projects to increase resilience in communities.

Moderator: Dub Taylor, Chief Operating Officer, Texas PACE Authority


  • Ali Cooley, Chief Investment Officer, Greenworks Lending
  • Jeff Morris, Senior Director of State Government Relations, Schneider Electric | Presentation
  • Dr. Tim Unruh, Executive Director, National Association of Energy Service Companies (NAESCO)
  • Dylan Klomhaus, Technical Specialist, Colorado Energy Office | Presentation