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Smart grid security demonstration to show recent advancements

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Monday, November 05, 2012

On Wednesday, November 7, the Idaho National Laboratory will host an upcoming presentation, during which cyber security expert Rita Wells will lead a discussion on the smart grid technologies that are currently being deployed by Idaho Falls Power, Utility Products reports.

The "Securing the Smart Grid" presentation is slated for 7 P.M. at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, and will discuss the progress the utility has made in securing its smart grid infrastructure. The event is sponsored by Idaho Falls Power and the Partnership for Science and Technology.

"Outreach events do help go a long way to help the general public and customers understand why they deployed the technology and what benefits it offers them," Wells said. "They see more about how they use their power and, in turn, how to create more efficiencies in their homes."

The meeting is one of several events that have been held in the area to provide more information on the smart grid developments that are going on throughout the community. The largest project, put on by Idaho Falls Power, is a part of the Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, which was made possible by stimulus funding allocated specifically for smart grid enhancement projects.

According to the news source, while one of the project's major focuses is smart meters, Wells stated that the grid modernization initiative goes far beyond simple smart meters. Much of the technology being installed will never be seen by electric customers but will be integrated with utility substations and other distribution infrastructure. The thousands of new devices that are being introduced to the grid will allow never-before-seen two-way communication between grid assets and utilities, which Idaho Falls Power plans to use to better respond to power outages.

This technology will allow utilities to remotely access and address any outages or disruptions, however this also gives way for greater cyber security threats. Wells said she plans to assuage customers' fears that their energy consumption data could fall into the wrong hands.

"Industry and utilities have really come a long way to protect user information," Wells said. "A lot of lessons were learned with early installation and shared throughout the industry to provide more secure implementation."

SUBNET's extensive line of products and solutions help utilities comply with stringent NERC CIP standards,which were developed to help power companies ensure their networks are properly guarded against the latest cyber threats. 

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