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Nevada's renewable energy bill gets boost from former CIA director

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Currently, a bill focused on promoting renewable energy is being reviewed in Nevada's legislature. If passed, it would allow smaller solar, wind, geothermal and other energy producers to share their generated energy with the smart grid.

These small-scale generators would then be paid by public utilities for their contributions and the utilities would also put a cap on its collections. In return, energy bills for local residents could experience increases by a half percent.

The bill recently received backing from former CIA director James Woolsey, who held the position between 1993 and 1995. Woolsey believes the slight increase in price is worth it for Nevada residents. A distributed power grid would be less vulnerable than a concentrated system, according to the former director.

"Whether you’re worried about terrorists or hackers … if you lose power because of these accidents, because of terrorist attackers on transformers, because of hacker attacks, you are just out of business," Woolsey stated. "So there's a big premium, I think, to essentially being able to have distributed generation for reasons of security."

While some are skeptical of the smart grid due to cyber security concerns, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) has established rules and regulations for any companies in the electric sector to abide by in order to cut down on cyber crime. The NERC CIP standards require all these companies to develop risk-based security policies regarding their specific assets, architecture and exposure.

Opponents of Nevada's bill claim the government would then be selecting the best technology rather than allow market competition for energy.

The bill was being reviewed this week.

This article is brought to you by SUBNET. Attend a free webinar and learn about the complexities of substation cyber security. Visit to learn more.

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The Complexities of Substation Cyber Security

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