Distributed Energy Resources Offer Cleaner Increased Energy Generation Mix but Higher Potential for Grid Disruption

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) ie. Solar, Wind, Fuel Cells, Storage, Flexible Loads, offer cleaner increased energy generation mix but higher potential for grid disruption.

Power grids worldwide are undergoing a revolutionary transition as so-called “smart grids” that exploit emerging renewable energy sources. Such distributed power generation requires network control. It is likely that future power systems will become more exposed to targeted cyber-attacks.

As continuing grid expansion and investment is ongoing, it is recommended that electrical equipment purchases begin adopting cyber safe system and device design considerations. Preparation for complete overhaul of both hardware and software control platforms for the power grid and power devices will be likely. Many devices are out dated or stand-alone and fail to meet current standards for distributed control, fault tolerance and security.

The desired systematic software design methodology poses an urgent need for static and dynamic analysis enhanced by protection methods to remove bugs and security vulnerabilities in software for all intelligent power devices employed.

Better techniques are needed to ensure software integrity on intelligent grid power devices and control computers. For example, secure power bootstrap to guarantee that all devices only boot authorized software. Monitor all power devices for runtime mechanisms to prevent compromising software integrity.

 Click here to read the article from Enbala Power Networks that prepares the reader for employing DERs to strengthen defense.