Purpose of Review
This paper examines the governance challenges of intersectoral critical infrastructure interdependencies. Between 2015 and 2017, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) supported a team of researchers at Northeastern University and The Ohio State University to evaluate critical infrastructure interdependencies between the energy and transportation sectors in the context of a potential hurricane event in the Boston metro region. The paper reports on 2 years of semi-structured interviews with key stakeholders and infrastructure operators. The results provide insights gained from the interviews and a workshop convened jointly by Northeastern University, the Boston Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management, and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Research relating to the resilience of interdependent critical infrastructure has proliferated in recent years. Nearly all of this research involves analysis of secondary data or abstracted operational models, rather than in-depth interviews of on-the-ground infrastructure owners and operators.
This paper identifies a number of important constraints that undermine critical infrastructure resilience. At its core, infrastructure resilience is less a question of managerial desire or skill, or technical resources or design, but is a larger institutional challenge. The institutional environment in which energy and transportation infrastructure operates ultimately informs and defines resilience efforts.
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ROE rate determination is the subject of a long and arduous literature involving calculations of the utility’s opportunity cost, and is informed by current yields on treasuries, the Federal Funds Rate, and other metrics of comparable investments the utility could make in lieu of cost recovery approval. Interested readers are encouraged to see Phillips (1993).
Note that the severity of Superstorm Sandy was not large enough to obtain the technical designation of a Hurricane.
During a workshop engagement session, a respondent noted that Massport relocated HVAC systems from the rooftops of its facilities to ground level after high wind events displaced much of the rooftop equipment. Subsequent to their relocation to ground level, a coastal flooding event destroyed a large volume of the relocated equipment.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance
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The authors thank Steve Flynn, Matthias Ruth, Ramteen Sioshansi, Amir Mousavian, Peter Boynton, Warren Edwards, Connor Goddard, Christopher Grasso, Robin White, Aron Ezaz, The Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute (CIRI) at the University of Illinois, and participants at the 2016 Interdependent Critical Infrastructure Hurricane Preparedness workshop at Northeastern University. The authors thank Sophie Anderson for her excellent work as research assistant.
This work was funded by the US Department of Homeland Security, Grant # 2015-ST-061-CIRC-01.
Conflict of Interest
Noah Dormady reports grants and personal fees from US Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) during the conduct of the study.
Ryan Ellis reports grants and personal fees from US Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) during the conduct of the study.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
The findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this paper are the product of research by the authors and do not represent the views of the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, The Ohio State University, Northeastern University, the Global Resilience Institute, the Critical Infrastructure Resilience Institute, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, or any of the institutions or organizations that were engaged in the course of the research.
This article is part of the Topical Collection on Energy Markets
Appendix. List of Participant Organizations
Appendix. List of Participant Organizations
|Boston Planning and Development Agency|
|City of Boston Office of Emergency Management|
|Independent System Operators New England|
|Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities|
|Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority|
|Massachusetts Clean Energy Center|
|Massachusetts Department of Homeland Security|
|Massachusetts Department of Public Safety|
|Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources|
|Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency|
|Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs|
|Massachusetts Petroleum Council/API|
|Massachusetts Port Authority|
|MassDOT Highway Operations|
|MIT Lincoln Laboratory|
|NE Convenience Store and Energy Marketers Association|
|Reinauer Transportation Companies LLC|
|The Ohio State University|
|The Wharton School|
|US Coast Guard|
|US Department of Homeland Security|
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Cite this article
Dormady, N., Ellis, R. Energy-Transport Sector Interdependence in Extreme Events: the Case of a Hurricane Event in Boston. Curr Sustainable Renewable Energy Rep 5, 1–13 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40518-018-0095-7
- Extreme events
- Energy systems
- Transportation systems
- Critical infrastructure