Analytics and optimization represent an evolution in the smart grid. Sensing, communication and proper numerical treatment of data are important to achieving results. Optimization and visualization bring actionable intelligence, while a strong underlying platform enables utility-wide benefits.
There has been renewed attention to a substation attack that occurred almost a year ago but remains unsolved. We should not forget that the local grid withstood the attack with nary a blink of the lights, and that power systems are broadly engineered to withstand such incidents. We can make them even more resilient. Distributed generation and microgrids will help.
Today the North American electric power system consists of about 15,000 generators, 450,000 miles of high-voltage (100kV or higher) transmission lines, over six million miles of lower-voltage distribution lines and more than 15,000 substations. Last year's attack on a California substation did not awaken concerns about the network’s physical security. Here are the three key questions I have been asked repeatedly in the last 13 years, going back to when I directed infrastructure security R&D post 9/11 at the Electric Power Research Institute.
Current efforts to research cyber security technologies, risk assessment and system hardening techniques are constrained by the availability of realistic test environments. Creating a resilient smart grid requires the availability of cyber-physical system security testbeds for performance and security evaluations in order to achieve sufficient system resiliency.