The 2013 attack in California “was like a shock wave in the power industry when it was first reported in The Wall Street Journal,” says Bill Rose, media relations manager for ABB’s power grids division in North America. “There were some discreet discussions going on earlier, but this was a wake-up call.”
In response, ABB worked with electric utilities and the U.S. Department of Energy to come up with the Substation Physical Security and Resiliency Initiative, which lays out a five-step approach to shielding electric transmission and distribution systems against attacks as well as natural threats.
Petter Fiskerud, ABB’s power transformer resiliency program manager, calls the initiative a five-layer program that begins by assessing natural and manmade substation risks and moves on to hardening the facilities’ ability to withstand threats; security monitoring of the assets and their surroundings; arranging for rapid repair of light damage; and developing rapid replacement plans for badly damaged, critical equipment.
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