PROVIDENCE — The House of Representatives passed a resolution last month calling on the Office of Energy Resources to issue a report describing the state’s energy security and improvement opportunities in the wake of severe storms in the recent past.
The resolution, introduced by Westerly Rep. Sam Azzinaro, calls for the Energy Resources office to address the following matters in a report to be issued by May 2015:
• Identify, in coordination with the Division of Public Utilities and Carriers and other state agencies, the state’s electrical, gas and distillate fuel vulnerabilities;
• Highlight anything occurring over the next 12 months involving heat waves, tropical storms, hurricanes and significant winter storms;
• Highlight opportunities for funding that the Office of Energy Resources, in coordination with the PUC and Emergency Management Agency, can potentially pursue with the federal government on energy security, including micro-grids;
• Provide policy recommendations on system reliability, grid modernization and opportunities in diversifying and enhancing the state’s fuel diversity through both natural gas and local and regional distributed generation renewable energy resources.
Azzinaro, who sustained flooding and saw firsthand the destruction caused by Superstorm Sandy from his home in Misquamicut, initiated the resolution, which was co-sponsored by Rep. Arthur J. Corvese (D-Dist. 55, North Providence), Rep. Jan P. Malik (D-Dist. 67, Barrington, Warren), Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) and Rep. John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton, Portsmouth).
“Recent events such as Hurricane Sandy and Blizzard Nemo have significantly tested the state’s electrical and distillate fuel terminal infrastructures,” Azzinaro said in a prepared release.
“These impacts are likely to continue into the future due, in part, to climate change. Before the next such event, I believe the Office of Energy Resources should make a thorough study of and issue a report on the status of our state’s energy security and also offer recommendations on how to make needed improvements,” he said.