Following the Executive Order 13920 Securing the United States Bulk-Power System released in May 2020, the U.S. Department (DOE) on December 17, 2020 issued a Prohibition Order Securing Critical Defense Facilities designed to reduce the risk that entities associated with the People’s Republic of China pose to the U.S. bulk-power system (BPS). The order prohibits utilities that supply critical defense facilities at a service voltage of 69kV or above from procuring specific BPS electric equipment from China. Specifically, utilities are not allowed to acquire, import, transfer, or install select BPS electric equipment manufactured or supplied by persons owned by, controlled by, or subject to the jurisdiction or direction of China. This includes software, firmware and digital components that control the operation of this equipment. The order applies from the point of electrical interconnection with the critical defense facilities up to and including the next “upstream” transmission substation. Utilities subject to this order are required to work with DOE to assist in the identification of Defense Critical Electric Infrastructure and any load shedding and system restoration contingency planning required to assure the energy and missions of critical defense facilities.
This order takes effect on January 16, 2021 and will apply to any prohibited transaction on or after that date. For more information, please see also DOE’s news release and DOE’s site on the initial Bulk Power System Executive Order.