Are current safety requirements sufficient to protect the electrical network? –

(NewsNation) — As officials continue to investigate a “targeted attack” on two Duke Energy stations in Moore County, North Carolina, many are wondering if enough is being done to protect the nation’s power grid.

The latest incident comes more than seven years after federal regulators approved minimum physical security standards for critical power plants, but experts say those conditions fell short.

“These are just very vague requirements,” said Jon Wellinghoff, former head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)

that regulates the interstate transmission of electricity in the United States.

In April 2013, gunmen in Coyote, California shot at 17 electrical transformers, causing $15 million in damage. The attackers were never found, but the incident exposed a significant vulnerability in the nation’s power infrastructure.

In response, federal regulators established mandatory physical security standards in 2015. The directive required power operators to identify “critical facilities” and then develop and implement security plans to protect those facilities.

But those standards were not prescriptive and gave utility companies considerable discretion in how and when they chose to secure those facilities.

Leave a Comment