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July 29, 2019


NERC Seeks Comment on Draft Supply Chain Risk Assessment

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) earlier this month requested comments on a draft Supply Chain Risk Assessment Data Request on July 2, 2019.

The purpose of the July 2 draft data request is “… to determine whether new information supports modifying the [Supply Chain Risk Management] standards to include low impact BES Cyber Systems with External Routable Connectivity by issuing a Request for Data or Information pursuant to Section 1600 of the NERC Rules of Procedure.”

In other words, NERC is seeking help to determine whether low impact assets should be added to the scope of the Supply Chain Risk Management reliability standard, CIP-013-1. NERC’s current request is for comment on the construction of the data request, not a response to the data request. The data request itself is likely to be issued during August 2019.

The data request as drafted will ask registered entities to answer two fundamental questions: first, to identify number of low-impact assets at each of six location types – the document includes a table that must be used to identify each type of location, independent of how a registered entity has classified its cyber assets in CIP-002; and second, for a registered entity to estimate its cost to comply with CIP-013-1.

The instructions for estimating the cost of compliance include this sentence: “Therefore, subject matter experts believe it is premature for CIP‐013 registered entities to determine, or estimate costs or benefits associated with the implementation of the standard.”

The comment window closed on Monday, July 22. NERC will now be reviewing the comments they received.

For more information, please contact the UTC Public Policy Team.

Less than a Month Away! Focused on Utility Broadband? Attend UTC’s Aug. 21-22 Workshop in Kansas City

We are just under a month away from UTC’s Broadband Workshop—have you registered?

Since the rural electrification push of the 1930s and the interstate highway system of the 1950s, the United States has never seen such a need for great infrastructure deployment. Higher capacity and more resilient, pervasive broadband must be brought to all corners of the country if we are to ensure that all of our citizens remain integrated into the global economy.

And it is not only the demand for basic broadband but the push towards 5G and further wireless densification that is driving the need for more fiber. How are we to meet this challenge?

Electric utilities are uniquely situated to deliver on this demand. From large investor-owned distribution systems supplying essential backbone and middle mile services to the municipally owned and electric cooperative utilities serving smaller, oftentimes more rural, communities –all electric utilities have a role to play in rewiring our country for the future.

To address these issues, UTC is hosting a broadband workshop focused on meeting the challenges on wiring America. The conference is being held from Aug. 21-22 in Kansas City.

This special 1.5-day workshop will focus on these roles, how each complements the other and the challenges faced by each party in deploying broadband infrastructure to their customers and their communities.

More information, including an agenda and registration information, is available here.

UTC Unveils October Power Grid 4.0—Digitalization Global Forum

Electric utility executives all over North America are welcome to Montréal to share best practices and lessons learned about digitalization. Across the globe, electric utilities are looking to go digital as they modernize their systems to enable greater customer engagement and deploy new and emerging distribution technologies. This forum will be a first in North America.

UTC’s “Power Grid 4.0—Digitalization Forum” will be held in Montreal from Oct. 16-18, 2019. The event is hosted by Hydro Quebec with the premier sponsor being SNC-Lavalin, an engineering partner expert at mastering complex projects over the last 100 years. The event’s other sponsors include Linxon, Juniper Networks, and Black & Veatch.

For all the details about the speakers and meeting agendas, please visit the event website:

“This event will be a key global forum for utilities, policymakers, our vendor partners, and other stakeholders to discuss these important issues,” said UTC President and CEO Joy Ditto. “By bringing major decisionmakers and executives in North America under one roof, we can learn from each other as utilities consider enhancing investments into new and emerging technologies. My thanks to Hydro Quebec for hosting and SNC-Lavalin for their important sponsorship.”

Nearly all utilities deploy their own information and communications technology (ICT) networks to provide day-to-day situational awareness of their infrastructure. As utilities invest in grid modernization in response to customer demand, these networks are being transformed to enable greater deployment of renewable and distributed energy resources that require a more flexible grid. To support grid modernization, the investment in digital assets is paramount, and C-level executives are continuing to realize that now is the time to allocate resources to transform their core utility business.

That’s why the Digitalization Forum is so timely.

“Managing energy supply and demand is evolving and the interconnectivity between customers and utilities is changing our industry. Great relationship between the North American Utilities is key to develop and offer a better outcome that suits the customers’ needs. Hydro Québec is pleased to participate to this first digitalization forum, that brings together, all the major players of our industry to share expertise and best practices, to come up with real solutions and improve performance for the next generations,” said David Murray Chief Operating Officer of Hydro-Québec and President of Hydro-Québec Production.

‘’A vast portion of the power utility infrastructure in North America was constructed in the 1960s and is nearing ‘end of life.’ Power utilities are replacing their equipment while taking into account the numerous changes facing the industry. Such a digital transformation requires capital investments which, if done correctly, can be offset by significant reductions in operational cost. This forum has been created in order to address these issues,’’ said Alain Brière, vice-president & general manager Intelligent Networks & Cybersecurity, SNC-Lavalin.

Upcoming Events

A snapshot of upcoming UTC webinars, events, and conference calls

  • Aug. 21-22, 2019: UTC Broadband Workshop, Kansas City
  • Oct. 16-18, 2019: Power Grid 4.0 Digitalization Forum; Montreal
  • July 30, 2019: Practical Lighting Webinar—For more information, click here
  • Aug. 13: Knowledge & Learning Committee Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • Aug. 15: Telecom Committee Call—For more information, contact Brett Kilbourne
  • Aug. 15: Public Policy Division Call—For more information, contact Sharla Artz
  • Aug. 15: Technical Division Call—For more information, contact Bob Lockhart
  • Aug. 16: Security, Risk, and Compliance Committee Call—For more information, contact Sharla Artz
  • Sept. 4-6, 2019: Region 9 Meeting; Spokane, WA
  • Sept. 12-13, 2019: Region 4 Meeting; Grand Rapids, MI
  • Sept. 16-19, 2019: Region 5 Meeting; Lacrosse, WI
  • Oct. 2-4, 2019: Region 3 Meeting; Mobile, AL
  • Oct. 10-11, 2019: Region 10 Meeting; Las Vegas


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