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S.F. No. 2840 - Vulnerability of the Electrical Grid to Solar Storms Study
Author: Senator Bruce D. Anderson
Prepared By: Carlon D. Fontaine, Senate Counsel (651/296-4395)
Date: March 20, 2018


Section 1. Study; Electrical Grid Vulnerability to Geomagnetic Disturbances and Electromagnetic Pulse.  Requires the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and the Department of Public Safety to conduct a joint study analyzing the Minnesota electrical grid's vulnerability to geomagnetic disturbances caused by solar storms and electromagnetic pulse. Requires input for the study to be gathered from stakeholders, including electric utilities, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator, scientists and others with applicable expertise, and emergency hazard planners.

Specifies the contents of the report, including information regarding:

  • potential disturbances that may impact Minnesota's electrical grid as a result of solar storms and electromagnetic pulse;
  • the existing system for predicting solar storms;
  • steps utilities and the private and public sectors could take to minimize grid vulnerability;
  • how to maintain and restore communications systems after grid damage; and
  • how current emergency planning efforts may incorporate concerns regarding grid damage and long-term power outage resulting from geomagnetic disturbances and electromagnetic pulse.

Requires the report to be submitted to the legislature by February 15, 2019.

Section 2. Appropriation. Appropriates $50,000 in fiscal year 2019 from the general fund to the PUC to complete the electrical grid vulnerability study in section 1.



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