Preparing for disruptions in the electricity grid and natural gas network through emergency planning
Electricity grid and natural gas network companies maintain emergency plans to prepare for disturbances, rationing measures required by disturbances, and exceptional conditions referred to in the Emergency Powers Act. Electric grid companies must update their emergency plans by the end of June 2022.
Electric grid and natural gas network companies are required to prepare for emergences affecting their networks. The specific aim of the requirement is to mitigate the effects of interruptions in the distribution of electricity and natural gas. The Energy Authority monitors compliance with the obligations through emergency plans submitted by the companies.
With an emergency plan the companies can prepare for disruptions that occur under normal conditions: the plans include measures such as risk analysis, preparing for various emergencies, planning operations in emergencies, and risk management for communication networks and data systems.
As part of their preparation planning, the companies maintain a readiness plan for exceptional circumstances. Emergency planning is aimed at securing continuity of operations in situations mapped out in the Emergency Powers Act in which normal operations of society have been disrupted by an event or upheaval. The distribution companies must also present their plans for rationing electricity or natural gas.
Emergency planning by the network companies has generally been at a good level and companies in the field take readiness seriously. Early in the previous decade, the network companies have experienced many major interruptions caused by weather phenomena, leading to the positive development of preparation and action in emergencies. Like many other organisations, network companies have confronted new kinds of challenges in recent years, such as epidemics and cybersecurity risks. Consequently, the preparations need to be examined from many different angles.
The Energy Authority has updated instructions for the planning of readiness for electric grid companies and model templates for planning for preparations and readiness. Updated plans applying to the electricity grid must be delivered to the Energy Authority by the end of March 2022.
As of 2019, preparation plans at electric grid companies must be updated at least once every three years. Those at natural gas network companies must be updated at least once every five years and the next deadline for them is June 2024.
Further information: Chief Specialist Tarvo Siukola, [email protected], tel. +358 29 5050 074.