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Since microgrids are usually connected to the national grid, power flows both ways. Much of the power coming from a microgrid is generated by renewable sources whose output varies from moment to moment, making it difficult for grid operators to predict exactly how much energy is available at any given instant. Energy storage helps to alleviate the intermittent nature of renewable sources, but it presents the same issues as other distributed generation sources. In any fault-tolerant system, there are critical points that simply must not fail.

The Problems

The report suggests redesigning these components so they can be housed more securely indoors or underground. Smart grid technology can provide intelligent load-shedding, allowing limited resources to be directed towards critical customers like hospitals, police, firefighters, and military bases. Appropriate levels of software security must evolve along with the control hardware and software to prevent hackers from interfering with grid operations. The report suggests that renewable energy sources, microgrids, and their associated integration technology take on a greater role in US energy production.

As these tools evolve and grow side-by-side, care must be taken to ensure that the technology addresses all aspects of energy production, including quality, reliability, and security. The good old transformer - two coils of wire magnetically coupled - is the workhorse of the electric grid. Intelligent transformers made of high-power electronics could handle the stepping up and down of voltages, as current transformers do, and also deal with varying demand, routing of power, and reactive power compensation. Likewise, smart switches and circuit breakers can intelligently route power, isolate faults, and communicate with the grid operators and with other equipment.

The Next FALSE FLAG Attack: POWER GRID BLACKOUT. FEMA, Govt Control & More

According to the National Research Council, "Going forward, the electric power industry will need increasingly more eclectic workers with skills to address digitization and the complexity of electronics, communications, computers, and highly integrated systems; the integration and operation of renewable energy sources. Upgrading it will be a significant investment, but one that will pay dividends in advanced technology, high-tech jobs, economic growth, and national security.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard washingtonexaminer. Beltway Confidential.


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Washington Secrets. Thursday July 04, Sen. Grassley: Defending freedom is the American DOE warns 'modern life' threatened by terror, climate threats to electric grid by Paul Bedard. The electric power delivery system that carries electricity from large central generators to customers could be severely damaged by a small number of well-informed attackers.


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  • The system is inherently vulnerable because transmission lines may span hundreds of miles, and many key facilities are unguarded. This vulnerability is exacerbated by the fact that the power grid, most of which was originally designed to meet the needs of individual vertically integrated utilities, is being used to move power between regions to support the needs of competitive markets for power generation. Primarily because of ambiguities introduced as a result of recent restricting of the industry and cost pressures from consumers and regulators, investment to strengthen and upgrade the grid has lagged, with the result that many parts of the bulk high-voltage system are heavily stressed.

    Electric systems are not designed to withstand or quickly recover from damage inflicted simultaneously on multiple components. Such an attack could be carried out by knowledgeable attackers with little risk of detection or interdiction.


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    Department of Energy should initiate and fund several model demonstration assessments across cities, counties, and states. These assessments should systematically examine a region's vulnerability to extended power outages and develop cost-effective strategies that can be adopted to reduce or eventually eliminate such vulnerabilities.

    Building on the results of these model assessments, DHS should develop, test, and disseminate guidelines and tools to assist other cities, counties, states, and regions to conduct their own assessments and develop plans to reduce vulnerabilities to extended power outages. To facilitate these activities, public policy and legal barriers to communication and collaborative planning will need to be addressed. This report was completed by the National Research Council in the fall of , but the sponsoring agency, the U.

    DOE warns 'modern life' threatened by terror, climate threats to electric grid

    Department of Homeland Security, decided at that time that the report would be classified in its entirety. After a formal request from the Research Council for an updated security classification review, the report was cleared for public release in fall A foreword to the report, written by Ralph J. Vest, president of the National Academy of Engineering, provides details about the delay and says that the key findings of the report remain "highly relevant.

    We understand the need to safeguard security information that may need to remain classified.

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    But openness is also required to accelerate the progress with current technology and implementation of research and development of new technology to better protect the nation from terrorism and other threats. Concurrent with the report's release to the public, a workshop is being planned to address changes that have occurred since the report's completion in and where future efforts should be directed to improve grid resilience.

    The study was sponsored by the U. Department of Homeland Security. They are private, independent nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under a congressional charter. A committee roster follows. Lorin Hancock, Media Relations Officer. Shaquanna Shields, Media Relations Assistant. Office of News and Public Information.

    DOE warns 'modern life' threatened by terror, climate threats to electric grid

    Additional resources:. Report in Brief. Reporters may obtain a copy from the Office of News and Public Information contacts listed above. Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences. Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. Granger Morgan1 chair. University Professor and Head.

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    Department of Engineering and Public Policy. Carnegie Mellon University. Massoud Amin. Department of Electrical and Computer.