An attack on PG&E's Metcalf transmission substation knocked the station out of commission. Although the attack wasn't well-publicized in the media, it became a call for utility companies to reassess their security.
Duane Highley, CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. (AECC) and vice-chairman of the Electric Subsector Coordinating Council (ESCC), recently challenged the idea that the U.S. grid is antiquated, and implied that the United States takes reliable electricity for granted. This is according to testimony Highley offered at the first of several public meetings hosted by Department of Energy for the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER).
Ameren Illinois says it has exceeded its yearly reliability performance goals required by the state's Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) and that its modernization plan is on track.
The research includes technologies to help meet North American Electric Reliability Corporation – Critical Infrastructure Protection (NERC-CIP) requirements for cybersecurity, including interoperability, scalability, through demonstration projects to validate the viability of practice and/or commercialization in the energy industry.
The New York Independent System Operator's (NYISO) Utility Control Center has officially opened. The center is part of a $74 million investment, half of which was funded by U.S. Department of Energy's Smart Technology Initiative. The investment will save approximately $200 million per year in energy costs by improving the quality of the grid and installing new technology to improve energy efficiency.
Thus far, the smart city communications layer has largely been taken for granted and become somewhat of an afterthought, with the main focus on the higher IT and data management layers. But the trend of the Internet of Things will require cities to move beyond just connecting people and businesses to objects and sensors toward more integrated smart city solutions and improving the interoperability, security, data privacy, and scalability of communication networks.
The Chinese government has had the foresight to consider the needs of the country's grid development, supporting smart grid projects with favorable policies that embrace change and the implementation of new technology.
IT plays a critical role as the old infrastructure evolves from one-way network to two-way communications to enable the smart grid. In fact, cumulative utility spending on IT systems for the smart grid will total $139.3 billion from 2014 through 2022, according to Navigant Research.
The high level of investment in our nation's transmission infrastructure will enable electric utilities to improve reliability, relieve congestion, facilitate wholesale market competition, and support a diverse and changing generation portfolio for the benefit of electricity customers.
The Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program has produced benefits for utilities and their customers with more than $7.9 billion invested by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to modernize the electric grid, strengthen cybersecurity, improve interoperability, and collect an unprecedented level of data on improvements in grid operations and customer services since 2009.