As it relates to cyber security, the existing regulatory paradigm falls short and provides inadequate protection to the electric grid.
Given the dynamic nature of cyber threats, we should ask ourselves whether mandatory reliability standards drafted by NERC and approved by FERC can get past the uncertainty created by cumbersome procedures and regulatory delays to provide an effective means of addressing the cyber security threat to the bulk power system. Let’s examine some of the regulatory gaps and risks presented by our current system of NERC and FERC oversight.
A look at Its new guidelines for secure remote access
Several utility regulatory bodies have initiatives tailored to help secure remote access to the electric power grid from cybercrime. The most notable of these efforts comes from the North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC), with the realization of Version 5 of its Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standard, which goes into effect on April 1, 2016.
Taking Resiliency One Step Further
An independent system operator for the distribution network could allow utilities to invest in rooftop solar behind the meter and within territory.
Local network security in the age of microgrids and distributed generation.
Bijoy Chatt and Ken Horne
With the local grid infused with distributed generation, static relay settings must yield to a more dynamic approach to ensure network security.
Protecting substations and transformers after the PG&E Metcalf attack.
The latest fallout from the April 2013 Metcalf incident: the unprecedented assault with high-powered rifles on PG&E’s Metcalf substation, in Silicon Valley, which disabled 17 of 20 large transformers.
Smart grid advancements call for a new approach to restoration.
The next-generation smart grid system must perform SCADA, DMS, and OMS functions using a single, common representation of the distribution network.
Regulators and utilities should collaborate more to address cyber threats.
Public utility commissions face a growing need to understand cybersecurity issues, so they can address utility investments and processes. A collaborative approach will allow an effective response.
New England’s proposed capacity market reform would force generators to ‘Be There or Else.’
Facing worries about resource adequacy, ISO New England proposes changes that would penalize generators that fail to perform when needed -- for any reason. Market players say it can only work if the system operator allows for reasonable exceptions.
Harnessing the true power of social media.
John Kunasek and Rilck Noel
Customers expect their utilities to communicate as well as other service providers. This shouldn’t be considered a burden, but an opportunity.
Big data at work – from plant performance to customer interaction.
Analytics technology isn’t just for customer service and distribution systems. Pattern recognition techniques are allowing utilities to wade through large reams of data and identify incipient equipment problems at power plants, avoiding costly failures and safety compromises.