U.S. national security and commerce depend on the uninterrupted flow of electricity delivered through the electric grid (the grid). The grid is a highly complex, interconnected network that produces and delivers power to all sectors of society, including homes, businesses, and critical infrastructure sectors such as first responders, airports, and military installations.

This essential function of the grid is under increasing risk from man-made and natural threats, including cyber and physical attacks, natural disasters, and electromagnetic pulse/ geomagnetic disturbance. States and utility companies are at the front lines of ensuring grid resilience against these threats. The growing complexity and interconnectedness of the electric grid, the emerging risk landscape, and the practical limitations of private companies to address certain risks, however, underscore for the public and the private sectors the need to collaborate to ensure overall grid resiliency. These actions will ultimately be needed to ensure the grid is safe and resilient, which is critical to safeguard U.S. national security.

In this context, key grid stakeholders have illustrated the important roles public-private partnerships can play to secure the grid. In the course of assessing the increasing risk to the U.S. grid from man-made and natural threats, the BENS Energy Council determined that it would be wise to examine how state-level public-private partnerships are structured to secure the grid and maximize enhanced grid resiliency and security.

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