• Alstom acquires CA company, seeks to enter U.S. smart grid market

    French electrical grid manufacturer Alstom recently acquired Utility Integration Solutions, Inc. (UISOL) in its efforts to expand its smart grid control room capabilities and enter the U.S. market; UISOL specializes in demand response management systems, which are critical to the operation of smart grids; analysts believe that this could put Alstom in position to become an integrated systems provider for smart grids in the United States on par with ABB, Siemens, and General Electric

  • The smart grid can get even smarter

    Researchers are currently working on new solid-state transformers that could revolutionize the smart grid; these new devices use sophisticated semiconductors, processors, and communications hardware enabling them to handle a broad array of functions; potential uses include reducing car battery recharge time from eight hours to thirty minutes while reducing energy loss, enabling individual homes and businesses to sell power from one to another based on usage, and allowing solar panels and other renewable energy sources to be used without any additional equipment or upgrading existing power infrastructure; the devices will take several years to develop before they can be implemented

  • NIST identifies five "foundational" Smart Grid standards

    NIST has identified five “foundational” sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security that are ready for consideration by federal and state energy regulators; the standards focus on the information models and protocols important to efficient and reliable grid operations as well as cyber security

  • U.S. power grid easy prey for hackers

    Attackers could manipulate power-grid data by breaking into substations and intercepting communications between substations, grid operators, and electricity suppliers; grid hackers could make millions of dollars at the expense of electricity consumers by influencing electricity markets; they could also make the grid unstable, causing blackouts

  • Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse Web Portal launched

    Virginia Tech has released the latest version of the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse (SGIC) Web portal; the portal is the platform for direct sharing and dissemination of relevant smart grid information, ranging from background documents, deployment experiences, technologies, and standards, to on-going smart grid projects around the world

  • Security standards for smart grid evolve

    Digital technology in the smart grid measures and distributes the delivery of electricity to consumers and has the potential to reduce energy use and costs for consumers as it’s deployed in more areas of the country; security experts say, however, that the new network will offer new avenues for criminals to infiltrate, corrupt and steal data

  • Cisco buys Arch Rock, beefing up smart-grid business

    Cisco is beefing up its smart-grid and data center businesses by acquiring San Francisco-based Arch Rock, a maker of a system for collecting information from mesh networks of IP-based wireless sensors, routers, and servers; On Wednesday, Cisco announced a deal with meter maker Itron to develop communications products that use the Internet Protocol, rather than proprietary protocols for sending information from meters back to utilities

  • Smart Grid offers target-rich opportunities for hackers

    SCADA systems are vulnerable to hacking, but the smart grid is even more vulnerable; security experts at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas last week warned that the accelerated deployment of smart-grid technology could leave critical infrastructure and private homes vulnerable to hackers; hacking may come in a benign form — customers might simply figure out how to lower their electricity bills by manipulating how much energy their meters say they are using; hacking may also have more sinister aspects: large-scale attacks may also be possible, and the smart grid’s serious vulnerabilities make it possible to shut down the power supply to an entire city

  • Smart Grid cybersecurity market to reach $3.7 billion by 2015

    Spending on security for the smart grid will represent approximately 15 percent of total smart grid capital investment between now and 2015; cumulative investment in the security sector will reach $21 billion between 2010 and 2015, with annual revenue reaching $3.7 billion by 2015; among other incentives, one key condition for smart grid funding awarded last year under the federal stimulus program was that the awardees incorporate strong security into their smart grid initiatives

  • Solar-powered robot crawls on aging power lines to inspect the grid

    The U.S. grid infrastructure has two characteristics: it is vast and it is aging; now there is a cost-effective way to examine thousands of miles of power lines: a new, solar-powered, 140-pound, six-foot-long robot; the robot uses rollers to clamp onto and move along a line; it can maneuver past towers, known as pylons, using cables built into newer towers or retrofitted onto old ones

  • Experts say smart meters are vulnerable to hacking

    In the United States alone, more than eight million smart meters have been deployed by electric utilities and nearly sixty million should be in place by 2020; security experts are worried that this rush to deployment of smart meters ignores serious security vulnerabilities: the interactivity which makes smart meters so attractive also makes them vulnerable to hackers, because each meter essentially is a computer connected to a vast network

  • Smart grid attack likely

    The smart grid’s distributed approach exposes these networks and systems, especially in the early phases of deployment; the communication among these networks and systems will be predominantly wireless and it is assumed they will be sniffed, penetrated, hacked, and service will be denied

  • NIST request for input on Smart Grid Interface

    NIST launches a blog seeking public comment and discussion on three aspects of Smart Grid implementation; considers further online discussions in the future.

  • NIST issues expanded draft of its smart grid cyber security Strategy for public review

    The coming Smart Grid will offer efficiency and savings, but also new cybervulnerabilities; NIST has issued the second draft proposal of its smart grid cybersecurity requirements; the document identifies more than 120 interfaces that will link diverse devices, systems, and organizations engaged in two-way flows of electricity and information and classifies these connections according to the risks posed by a potential security breach

  • Utilities to bolster smart grid cybersecurity

    Annual spending on cybersecurity by electric utilities will triple by 2015, driven by investment in equipment protection and configuration management; between 2010 and 2015, Utility companies will invest more than $21 billion on cybersecurity