IEC 61850 USA 2021 Blog

Keep up to date with the latest developments on the IEC 61850 USA 2021 virtual conference, run by Smart Grid Forums.

Case Study: Southern Company

This week we caught up with Jason Autrey, R&D Manager at Southern Company, who will be speaking at the conference on the subject of Centralized Substation Protection, focusing on how Southern Company have been developing an autonomous, resilient and cyber secure protection and control system to improve the reliability of their protection.

Jason explained: “Southern company recognizes the need to advance and deploy systems that can enhance the detection and mitigation of cyber-attacks on the grid.  In this vein, SCS sees research in cyber-physical aware systems as a priority in our strategic focus.

Southern Company has a dedicated research and development department dedicated on improving grid resiliency from physical and cyber-attack.  Our cyber situational awareness research has helped us increase our understanding of impacts of cyber threats on the OT environment, identify mitigating techniques for attacks, and have allowed us to demonstrate IEC 61850 process bus architecture as the mechanism for data collection.  Our current focus is developing cyber aware platforms in the Transmission and Distribution substation protection and control environment.

In partnership on a DOE funded ARPAe project we are collaborating with Georgia Tech, EPRI, other utilities like NYPA aiming to develop and demonstrate a new layer on substation protection which can dramatically improve the reliability of protection. The proposed resilient Centralized Substation Protection (rCSP) scheme is based on a substation level dynamic state estimation that uses synchrophasors. Implementation of the technology is expected to eliminate false protection operations caused by hidden failures, identify and report in real-time exact location of hidden failures and provide resistance against a certain level of cyber-attacks. Results of substation level dynamic state estimation will allow also to greatly simplify bad data detection and state estimation in dispatch centers at a system level. I’m looking forward to sharing the drivers, challenges, lessons learnt and future roadmap for this project at the IEC 61850 USA 2021 virtual conference.”

Jason will be one of 12 utility case-studies being presented at IEC 61850 USA 2021. Alongside the case-study agenda, there will be 3 x supplier presentations, 4 x live Q&A sessions, a 90-min roundtable discussion session, and more, all in just one intensive high-value day!

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