Welcome!

News Feed Item

Keeping the Lights On: Electric Grid Safety Hinges on Partnership and Information Sharing

Public Power CEO Sue Kelly Testifies at Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Electric utilities have been focused on improving the safety and reliability of the complex and dynamic electric grid for years, testified Sue Kelly, president and CEO of the American Public Power Association (Public Power) at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today. Kelly testified on behalf of investor-owned, cooperatively owned, and publicly owned utilities, as well as independent generators and Canadian utilities.  The industry's top priority is to protect critical power infrastructure from cyber and physical threats by partnering with all levels of government and sharing critical information, she said.

"Keeping the lights on for customers is of paramount importance to electric utilities. Because electricity is produced and consumed instantaneously and follows the path of least resistance, ensuring reliability and grid security is a collective affair," said Kelly.

The hearing, "Keeping the Lights On — Are We Doing Enough to Ensure the Reliability and Security of the U.S. Electric Grid?" was convened by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee headed by Sen. Mary Landrieu (D–La.), with ranking member Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Ala.).

Kelly explained the robust measures electric utilities already have in place to address physical and cybersecurity and outlined how these measures have remained responsive to evolving threats over the years.

Recent media reports profiled attacks on physical infrastructure including the incident at Pacific Gas and Electric's Metcalf substation in California. While electric utilities take this incident seriously, the notion that media stories have spurred action on grid security is inaccurate, Kelly noted. Well before the media reports, government and industry initiated a series of briefings across the country to help utilities and local law enforcement learn more about the Metcalf attack and its potential implications.

On March 7, 2014, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) directed the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) under Section 215 of the Federal Power Act (FPA) to submit proposed reliability standards on physical security of critical assets within 90 days.  Investor-owned, cooperatively owned, publicly owned utilities, and other industry stakeholders are participating in the NERC process to develop this important standard.

The key to electric utility physical security is a "defense-in-depth" approach, which relies on resiliency, redundancy and the ability to recover, should an extraordinary event occur, Kelly said. The industry applies a similar "defense-in-depth" approach to cyber-security to ensure a quick response if an attack occurs. As there are more than 45,000 substations in the United States, prioritizing the most critical assets and focusing security planning on them is very important, explained Kelly. She noted that cybersecurity must be an iterative process, as the nature of threats constantly evolves.

Cybersecurity of the electric grid can be enhanced by improving information sharing between the federal government and industry, emphasized Kelly. The Electricity Sub-sector Coordinating Council (ESCC), a public/private partnership between the utility sector and the federal government, plays an essential role in coordination and information sharing. The ESCC has representatives from electricity trade associations, utilities and regional transmission organizations.

"The only way industry participants on the ground can truly protect against an event is to be aware of a specific threat or concern. They know which of their assets are critical. They know what they need to do to protect against the majority of physical and cyber threats," explained Gerry Cauley, CEO of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation who also testified at the hearing. "However, if the government is aware of a specific threat, communicating that information to those individuals on the front lines is important. This communication differs from providing public access to sensitive information, but is an essential component of security protection," he added.

Others who testified were Cheryl LaFleur, FERC acting chair; Colette Honorable, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners president; and Phil Moeller, FERC commissioner.

The American Public Power Association (Public Power) represents more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities providing reliable electric service to over 47 million Americans. More at www.PublicPower.org.

Kelly's full testimony is available at http://www.publicpower.org/files/PDFs/Kelly,%20Sue;%20testimony,%2004.10.14.pdf

SOURCE American Public Power Association

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...