Energy Systems

Global growth in demand for energy and the drive for alternative resources has motivated the adoption of cyber technology in all aspects of energy production, transmission, and distribution.

Cyber systems for measurement and control are found at all scales, including generators and refineries, electric transmission lines, smart meters on customer premises, and smart appliances inside. More recently, the energy section has emerged as a leading adopter of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technology. This has enabled efficiency, resiliency, and customer choice, and emerging cyber-electric systems such as microgrid show promise in system recovery from disaster situations such as major storms.

Cyber technology is key to these advances, but must be implemented with awareness of exposure to cyber attack. ITI has been active in developing research to advance cyber security and resiliency of energy systems for over a decade, developing solutions to enable current and future energy systems to operate safely and securely.

ITI currently has several power-grid-related initiatives in progress. The most visible has been the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Center, an $18.8 million initiative begun in 2009 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. TCIPG has now been succeeded by the $28.1 million Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium (CREDC), which was announced by the U.S. Department of Energy in October 2015.

In addition, ITI has numerous projects in partnership with major stakeholders in the energy sector (utilities and system providers). ITI’s energy research is conducted in close partnership with the sector, ensuring that we are addressing important problems and increasing the probability that research solutions will be adopted.

ITI also claims an extensive test environments for experimental validation of energy system security technologies, with simulation drivers and numerous actual devices found in energy delivery systems. This environment is being enhanced under the DARPA-funded Cyber-physical Experimentation Environment for RADICS.