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Smart grid continues to grab attention of lawmakers, utilities

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Friday, October 07, 2011

As the U.S. works toward integration and deployment of new smart grid technologies, utilities, municipalities and research groups are studying the necessary components needed for implementation.

In Illinois, opponents of Governor Pat Quinn's decision to veto the ComEd smart grid bill are continuing to speak out against the official's decision as the governor himself has made an effort to substantiate the veto, according to the Chicago Tribune.

State Senator Mike Jacobs, who is sponsoring the new bill, has stated he is confident that he will be able to bring together enough people to override last month's veto, though he says it will be difficult. While it passed the Legislature with 31 votes in the Senate, it will need 36 for the veto to be overturned. In the House, the bill passed with 67 votes, but now will need 71 for an override to occur, according to the news source.

Jacobs alleges that Quinn is anti-utility, and cannot see the myriad of advantages it will provide for the state's electric utilities. From preventing outages to automatically redistributing power from substations, the benefits of the new technology are essential for the future of the grid, he said.

"Illinois needs this, and if he doesn't think so, he's wrong," said Jacobs. "It moves Illinois forward. You can't operate in a new world on technology that was built in the 1890s."

While new legislature is being drafted on the smart grid in the Midwest, SMi’s Smart Grid Cybersecurity and Privacy Forum that will take place in November will discuss the potential security risks associated with deployment of the smart grid.

Although the smart grid will involve an unprecedented transformation of existing power transmission infrastructure, it remains to be an imperative process, with the vulnerability associated with the new model a critical priority among the power distribution community.

The forum will address cyber attacks, as well as the privacy, integrity and security of data that will pass through the smart grid. Speakers will discuss security solutions for smart grid networks and perform reviews of current energy management systems to demonstrate proper critical infrastructure protection compliance as set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee.

SUBNET Solutions Inc., a leading provider of software and training for utilities to become fully integrated into the new grid, developed its programs with cybersecurity in mind, and provides expertise in substation automation and remote access deployment.

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The Complexities of Substation Cyber Security

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