Onsite and Electric Power Backup Capabilities at Critical Infrastructure Facilities in the United States

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The following analysis, conducted by Argonne National Laboratory's (Argonne's) Risk and Infrastructure Science Center (RISC), details an analysis of electric power backup of national critical infrastructure as captured through the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS's) Enhanced Critical Infrastructure Program (ECIP) Initiative.

Between January 1, 2011, and September 2014, 3,174 ECIP facility surveys have been conducted. This study focused first on backup capabilities by infrastructure type and then expanded to infrastructure type by census region. Some of the key findings are listed below:

Insights across all assessed infrastructure:

  • More than half of the study groups analyzed during this effort rely on external sources of electric power to maintain core operations. Of the assessed study groups, 30 of the 49 groups had reported that 100 percent of facilities dependent on an external electrical power source.
  • Eighty percent of the assessed facilities that rely on external electric power have a mitigation system in place, with the majority having an alternate or backup. One hundred percent of the following assessed facility groups have an alternate or back power in place:Banking and Finance; Critical Access Hospitals; Private or Private Not-for-Profit General Medical and Surgical Hospital; State, Local, or Tribal General Medical and SurgicalHospital.
  • Of the facilities with an internal power source, 67 percent reported that internal generation could sustain the full facility load. The remaining 33 percent could, on average, sustain 40 percent of the peak facility demand. Facility groups with the highest number of facilities with internal generation capabilities include: Hydropower Plants (19); Coal-fired Generators (19); Electricity Generation (13); Wastewater Treatment Plants (13).

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