Power Grid/Smart Grid

Upton pursues documents from FERC on grid vulnerability

House Republicans have announced new action in response to the publication of sensitive electricity grid vulnerability modeling, demanding that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission turn over information about its management of internal security documents.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., called on FERC Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur to supply documents and communications about the unresolved attack on a substation in Metcalf, Calif. last April, and a separate analysis of modeling that detailed how attackers could cause a nationwide blackout.

Bringing power from renewables into the grid an ongoing process: FERC

Source: 
Platts

Compliance with Order 764, which mandates utilities work to integrate power from renewables into the grid, was a major topic at the monthly meeting of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Platts reports.

Schumer opens NY's new utility control center

RENSSELAER, N.Y. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer has formally opened the state's new high-tech utility control center near Albany that aims to improve the efficiency of the state's electrical grid.

The Democrat attended the official opening of the $38 million center Tuesday. Known as the New York Independent System Operator Utility Control Center, the facility is intended to better coordinate electrical production with demand.

USEA forum on Atlantic Wind Connection

Washington, April 16, 2014, 10:00 am

United States Energy Association forum on the Atlantic Wind Connection transmission project. Atlantic Wind Connection CEO Bob Mitchell to speak. 

Energy Guardian

FERC will improve handling of grid vulnerability info, LaFleur vows

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission shared sensitive information about its modeling of critical electricity infrastructure with outsiders but sought to do so within its regulations, Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur asserted to senators on Thursday.

The disclosure of that information and details of a sniper attack last year on a substation in Metcalf, Calif., in news reports has roiled FERC officials and lawmakers, who fear it could provide a guide to terrorists in disabling the electricity grid. At a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, LaFleur sought to assure senators that FERC was moving to improve its handling of such information in the future. 

PG&E offers $250K reward in California grid attack

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. offered a $250,000 reward Thursday for information leading to an arrest and conviction in a startling attack mounted nearly a year ago on phone lines and the power grid in Silicon Valley.

The nighttime, coordinated attack on April 16, just a day after the Boston Marathon bombings, involved snipping AT&T fiber-optic lines to knock out phone and 911 service in the area and firing shots into a PG&E substation.

Millions of people in Santa Clara County were asked to conserve energy after power lines were damaged.

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee

Murkowski backs LaFleur over FERC mishandling of sensitive grid info

The ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee late Wednesday defended the acting head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission over the handling of sensitive grid vulnerability information that made its way into news reports.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, said in a statement that the FERC information in question was created and distributed in presentations to federal agencies and industry before Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur took the top post last fall.

Vestas

Grid security information mishandled by FERC, Energy IG finds

The Energy Department's internal watchdog on Wednesday alerted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it may have inappropriately distributed information about the electricity grid that should have been classified.

Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman issued a management alert to FERC based on his ongoing review into queries from the commission and senators about the origin of news reports about a sniper attack on a California substation last year.

FERC failed to classify grid vulnerability information, DOE IG finds

The Energy Department's internal watchdog on Wednesday alerted the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it may have inappropriately distributed information about the electricity grid that should have been classified.

Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman issued a management alert to FERC based on his ongoing review into queries from the commission and senators about the origin of news reports about a sniper attack on a California substation last year and a FERC analysis that highlighted grid vulnerabilities to a coordinated attack on a handful of critical facilities.

Friedman said at least one presentation on the grid created by commission staffers should have been classified at the time of its creation, and may "have been provided to both Federal and industry officials in unclassified settings."

He concluded the commission may lack adequate controls for "identifying and handling classified national security information," and recommended that Acting Chairman Cheryl LaFleur move to provide "maximum protection" of the information referred to in his alert.

LaFleur said in a statement that she was following Friedman's recommendations and that FERC was cooperating with his review.

Hawaiian Electric wins renewable energy grant

HONOLULU (AP) — A team led by Hawaiian Electric has won a $500,000 federal grant to develop ways for utilities to manage increased amounts of solar power and other renewable energy on their electric grids.

The team includes the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and several companies, like Siemens and Alstom which are both leading providers of energy management systems. Honolulu-based Referentia Systems is providing secure information technology and data analytic capabilities.

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