Interface 2003

Electricity Infrastructure Security
Thomas Kropp, (EPRI),


Today’s power system relies on an increasingly stressed infrastructure. This is due to several factors. Infrastructure expansion has not kept up with demand: generation & transmission capacity margins are shrinking. Transition to competition is creating new demands. Technology can meet these demands, but uncertainties on ROI are discouraging investments. Many distribution systems have not been updated with current technology. There has been a proliferation of distributed resources, yet few have been connected to the grid. The national infrastructure security assessment adds to concern. The threat of deliberate attacks on the power system adds a new dimension to concerns about the infrastructure. Transformers, line reactors, series capacitors, and transmission lines are all vulnerable to attack and it is impractical to protect all of our diverse and dispersed assets. There are over 200,000 miles of EHV lines and over 6,500 Transformers in the Eastern Interconnect alone. The power system is intrinsically connected to other infrastructures, such as natural gas pipelines and compressor stations, hydroelectric dams, rail lines, and telecommunications. In addition, our power system is a North American system, serving Canada as well as the United States. Given our reliance on electricity to drive all of the devices upon which we are now dependent, we must undertake significant efforts to improve the security, resilience, and dependability of our power system. This talk will discuss technology required to move the North American power system toward these goals.

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