IEEE Power & Energy Society
IEEE

From the Editor

Cybersecurity

Its Importance is Paramount

As today’s electric utility industry relies increasingly on digital electronic devices and communications to optimize system operation and increase reliability, cybersecurity remains a constant challenge. Governments and the electric companies that operate the grid share that challenge. Governments are privy to intelligence of possible or perceived threats, while the expertise regarding the operation of the electric system are in the domain of the electric company. The importance of providing intelligent and pervasive cybersecurity cannot be understated. With this in mind, our Editorial Board selected the subject of cybersecurity for this issue and Peter Sauer of the University of Illinois offered to assume the guest editor role for the issue.

In This Issue

Pete Sauer has assembled an imposing set of seven feature articles offering a comprehensive portrait of the issues associated with providing cybersecurity for the electric system, in addition to the obstacles and challenges that exist in the implementation of these protection systems. Although Pete will offer an insight into each article in his guest editorial, allow me to introduce you to their titles and authors in order of their appearance:

  • “Terms of Protection” by Daniel E. Nordell
  • “Links to the Future” by Faycal Bouhafs, Michael Mackay, and Madjid Merabti
  • “Smart Grid—Safe, Secure, Self-Healing” by S. Massoud Amin and Anthony M. Giacomoni
  • “Staying in Control” by Julie Hull, Himanshu Khurana, Tom Markham, and Kevin Staggs
  • “A Virtual Smart Grid” by David Anderson, Chuanlin Zhao, Carl H. Hauser, Vaithianathan Venkatasubramanian, David E. Bakken, and Anjan Bose
  • “Intruders in the Grid” by Chen-Ching Liu, Alexandru Stefanov, Junho Hong, and Patrick Panciatici
  • “Enhancing Grid Measurements” by Rakesh B. Bobba, Jeff Dagle, Erich Heine, Himanshu Khurana, William H. Sanders, Pete Sauer, and Tim Yardley.

New PES President

This issue offers IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) President Noel Schulz’s initial column as our leader. I highly recommend that column to all as her words and thoughts provide an insight to what we can expect during the next two years. Having served on the Long-Range Committee the past two years with Noel as chair, I have personally witnessed the intelligence and intensity that she will bring to PES during her term of office. I fully expect that we will find the next two years an exciting time to be a PES member.

A Different View of the Biltmore

We are delighted to again welcome a Tom Blalock “History” column. The piece, edited and introduced by Associate Editor Carl Sulzberger, offers a description of the Biltmore Estate in Ashville, North Carolina, USA. To we electrical engineers, its significance is the truly visionary electric supply system and innovations that were included in the late 19th century when the facility was completed. I was absolutely amazed at the complexity of the installation and am certain that it will intrigue our readers. And to think that most of the unique equipment has been preserved and available for viewing. To anyone contemplating travel to the Ashville, North Carolina, environs, you may want to plan a visit to the Biltmore Estate. It will not disappoint you!

A Strong Partnership

A fitting conclusion to this issue will be found in David Owens “In My View” contribution titled “Protecting the Grid. Mr. Owens is the executive vice president, Business Operation Group, at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), representing investor-owned utilities in the United States. And though his comments are certainly U.S.-centric, there is much in them that may be applied to nations in other parts of our globe. Cybersecurity, as Owens states, very much requires a strong partnership between utilities, government, and suppliers of equipment. He reviews the U.S. structure that has been developed to provide this security as well as the standards that have been and need to be developed to ensure protection. Presently, EEI is encouraging the development of a certification program to provide independent testing of newly developed grid components.

This issue will introduce an improved online presentation of the magazine to our readers. I ask that you go to the PES Web site and experience this presentation. We are treating this as the beginning of an ongoing project and welcome comments from our readers.

In This Issue

Feature Articles

Departments & Columns

Upcoming Issue Themes

  • November/December 2017
    Renewable Integration
  • January/February 2018
    Societal Views of the Value of Electricity
  • March/April 2018
    Controlling the Unpredictable Grid