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  • Moving Forward in Protecting the Nation’s Electric Grid

    January 16, 2015 2:10 PM

    Over the past week, the Energy Department has unveiled several new measures, including funding, newly-commercialized technology, and practical guidance, that will further strengthen the cybersecurity of the nation’s energy infrastructure. Vice President Biden announced yesterday that the Energy Department will provide a $25 million grant over the next five years to bring together 13 historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), two national labs, and the Charleston County School District in South Carolina to create a sustainable pipeline of students focused on cybersecurity. Today, our national laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee announced licensing of its Hyperion software, which helps detect software that has been maliciously altered, to a company that plans to make it available to the energy sector later this month. Meanwhile, late last week, the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) released guidance to help the energy sector meet the objectives of the cybersecurity framework released last year by the National Institutes of Standards and Technology in response to Executive Order 13636 “Improving Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity.”

    These important steps are the latest signs of progress being made in protecting the nation’s power grid from cyber threats.

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  • Protecting Consumer Privacy while Building a Smarter Grid

    January 8, 2015 2:46 PM

    Smart grid technologies have the capacity to create tremendous new value for electricity consumers: from advanced IT and communication technologies that improve the overall operation of our nation’s electricity transmission and distribution networks; to smart meters and digital sensors that help utilities quickly identify and minimize the extent of outages when they do occur. In addition, consumers now have the ability to monitor and manage their electricity use in far greater detail by tapping into the data generated by smart meters.

    Many of these emerging technologies—which provide tremendous benefits not only for the nation’s electric system but for consumers throughout the United States—will result in an increase in the amount of data collected regarding grid operating characteristics, including customer energy use data. As the nation’s electric infrastructure is modernized, it is critically important to ensure that the collection of data is performed in a manner that yields the greatest benefits for consumers, while continuing to rigorously protect their privacy.

    Much progress has been made toward this goal to date. Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, in coordination with the Federal Smart Grid Task Force, finalized a 22-month multi-stakeholder effort to develop a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) for utilities and third parties on protecting electricity consumers’ Customer Data which includes energy usage information.

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    News

    • February 2, 2015

      The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability’s FY 2016 Budget Request is now available. The FY 2016 request reflects the Administration’s priority on modernizing the electric grid and boosting the resilience of infrastructure.

    • January 12, 2015

      The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) and the Federal Smart Grid Task Force have facilitated a multi-stakeholder process to develop a Voluntary Code of Conduct (VCC) for utilities and third parties that addresses privacy related to data enabled by smart grid technologies. The final Data Privacy and the Smart Grid: A Voluntary Code of Conduct is now available for downloading.

    • January 8, 2015

      On Wednesday, January 14, 2015 from 2:30 - 4 p.m. ET, Clean Energy States Alliance will host a webinar on the OE strategic plan that provides a roadmap for grid energy storage safety, released in December 2014 (link to blog). OE's Imre Gyuk, Energy Storage Program Manager, will present an overview of the strategic plan. Other speakers from Sandia, the National Fire Protection Agency, and PNNL will also present. Registration is required for this free webinar.

    • December 23, 2014

      The Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE) has worked with industry and other stakeholders to develop the Energy Storage Safety Strategic Plan, a roadmap for grid energy storage safety that highlights safety validation techniques, incident preparedness, safety codes, standards, and regulations. The Plan also makes recommendations for near- and long-term actions.

    • December 18, 2014

      Under OE's Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program, six utilities evaluated operations and customer charging behaviors for in-home and public electric vehicle charging stations. The report is now available for downloading.

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