Transmission near the Hastings Lock & Dam, photo taken last week

I’m remembering legendary testimony in the Arrowhead project, “If it’s all connected, it’s all connected.” This is why it’s a problem to rely on transmission — if “it’s all connected,” it can be disconnected, and that’s a problem.

It’s a problem NERC has been looking into for a while, holding group exercises, “GridEx,” and they’ve just issued their latest report:

From the NERC GridEx page, here are links to all the reports:

GridEx Public Reports

GridEx VI Report
GridEx V Public Report
GridEx IV Public Report
GridEx III Public Report
GridEx II Public Report
GridEx I Public Report

And another report just released:

APT Cyber Tools Targeting ICS/SCADA Devices

There’s physical security and there’s cybersecurity… both making it very difficult to get information about our electrical grid — and how can “we” make need and routing determinations without information, information as essential as maps? Substation and transmission line loading? Planning for market v. planning for reliability?

I’ve had a few “security” issues myself, beginning even back during the Arrowhead project, over 20 years ago, where people taking photos of distant transmission lines were confronted by police. I’ve had security at a shuttered nuclear plant rush up and tell me I can’t take photos, from this distance, outside the fence!

Here’s the photo!

And just try to get into a transmission planning meeting!

MISO bars access to planning meetings


MAPP started in on this in 2008:

MAPP adopts shroud of secrecy

Yes, there was a physical attacked, a shooting on a California substation nearly a decade ago that disabled the substation:

Sniper attack on California power grid may have been ‘an insider,’ DHS says

The assault lasted only 19 minutes, but it caused $15 million in damage. It also became a harsh wake-up call for energy providers, who have since become obsessed with the physical security of their remote power stations.

Obsessed is the word.

Here’s a Congressional report:

Physical Security of the U.S. Power Grid: High-Voltage Transformer Substations

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