[ISN] What every utility should know about the new physical security standard

http://www.intelligentutility.com/article/15/01/what-every-utility-should-know-about-new-physical-security-standard By William E. Reiter intelligentutility.com Jan 29, 2015 On April 16, 2013, an incident in San Jose, California, led to development of a new physical security standard for owners and operators of transmission stations and substations. In the 2013 incident, a sniper attack on a Pacific Gas & Electric transmission substation knocked out 17 large transformers that powered Silicon Valley. The sniper attack served as a dramatic wake-up call for the industry and raised fears regarding the vulnerability of the nation’s power grid to terrorist attack. The more than 160,000 transmission line miles that comprise the U.S. power grid are designed to handle natural and man-made disasters, as well as fluctuations in demand; but what about physical attack? As a result of the San Jose assault, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in April 2014 required the North America Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC) to establish Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) standards to “address physical security risks and vulnerabilities related to the reliable operation” of the bulk power system. NERC developed and issued what is now commonly referred to as CIP-014-1. This is a physical security standard that has a stated purpose to identify and protect transmissions stations and transmission substations and their associated primary control centers that—if rendered inoperable or damaged as a result of a physical attack—could result in uncontrolled separation or cascading within an interconnection. […]