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The Smart-Enough Grid

How much efficiency do ratepayers need—and utilities want?

Fortnightly Magazine - August 2009

intra-company system are isolated…

“Security begins with selecting a state-of-the-art advance metering system, which for CenterPoint includes the Itron OpenWay system using Itron’s Advanced Security architecture… (see Figure 1, CenterPoint Energy Utility System, p.30).

“A hacker would greatly complicate his task by trying to enter the CenterPoint intra-company system through the meter. He would have to steal the encryption keys, overcome the built-in hardware that cannot be altered, and if someone were able to do all that they would discover that there is a very small amount of capacity (1,900 B00 rate) in the link between the meter and the cell relay link to the CenterPoint data collection system. And all the hacker would have achieved would be to access a limited amount of customer usage data.”

Thus, Rozzell and CenterPoint say “there is no reason” why those utilities that have received state approval should not continue to proceed as quickly as possible with their own smart-grid deployments, even if FERC has not yet set its own policy.

“And no reason,” writes Rozell, “for DOE to delay funding their projects.”