Reps. Bob Latta, R-Ohio, and Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., relaunched the bipartisan Grid Innovation Caucus with plans to highlight emerging technologies and safeguard the nation’s electric grid from cyber, physical, and environmental threats.

Serious concerns have increased regarding access to reliable electric services. This is a result of the increased demand for power, natural disasters and climate change, and physical and digital threats to the grid systems.

The Grid Innovation Caucus seeks to enhance the security and reliability of the nation’s electric grid by “increasing institutional understanding of grid complexities, identifying opportunities for productive and bipartisan engagement, and highlighting the constructive role technological innovation can play in bolstering grid infrastructure,” according to a press release.

“Ensuring the security and reliability of our nation’s electric grid cannot be overstated,” Rep. Latta said. “From increasing efficiency to meet our growing energy needs to implementing modernized defenses that protect against cyberattacks, there is much work to be done to safeguard this critical infrastructure.”

Ultimately, Rep. Latta hopes the caucus will help educate lawmakers on innovations that will improve the nation’s electric grid and “provide security for the American people,” he said.

The Grid Innovation Caucus was first launched by Reps. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., and Jerry McNerney, D-Calif., in 2014. Rep. Latta co-chaired the caucus during the 117th Congress alongside Rep. McNerney.

“Strengthening our nation’s energy grid is necessary for a cleaner and more energy-efficient future that supports good-paying jobs, strengthens domestic power production, and decreases the frequency of power outages in our communities,” Strickland said, adding that the Grid Innovation Caucus will highlight the importance of an innovative, reliable, and efficient grid infrastructure.

The caucus plans to hold a series of events throughout the 118th Congress, including hosting educational seminars on grid security and supply chain resiliency, producing a quarterly newsletter, and organizing a Grid Innovation Expo in the fall to highlight current and emerging grid technologies.

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.