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Linemen News: February

News Highlights from the Electric Power Industry.

In Florida city, a hacker tried to poison the drinking water

A hacker gained unauthorized entry to the system controlling the water treatment plant of a Florida city of 15,000 and tried to taint the water supply with a caustic chemical, exposing a danger cybersecurity experts say has grown as systems become both more computerized and accessible via the internet. >> Read more

Electric sector can learn from the Florida water utility hack, say experts

It’s been just two months since news broke that a sophisticated and widespread hack, SolarWinds, breached hundreds of companies and several government agencies.

“You hate to say it’s almost becoming a footnote,” said J.D. Henry, a regional advisor to the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. Henry spoke Wednesday about securing water supplies at a winter policy summit hosted by the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.

“These things continue to happen. We see these things growing,” he said. “Attackers are getting better than most defenders.” >> Read more

Why security and openness are key to driving value from smart utilities

It’s been a tough year for many utility providers, hit by financial concerns and worries over workforce productivity. Yet from the ashes of a potentially catastrophic event, global providers are already plotting the way to a brighter future — using smart technology to reduce costs, streamline processes and meet sustainability goals.

The key going forward will be to align on open, interoperable platforms that offer security, reliability and predictability.  >> Read more

Acceleration of the growth of distributed energy resources (DER) has power system analysts anticipating big changes on utility distribution systems in 2021 and throughout the 2020s.

Continued falling prices of DER, ambitious new state and federal policies, and customer demand in 2021 will drive growth, power industry representatives said. And while utility-scale renewables growth will still boom, DER, including rooftop solar, batteries and electric vehicles (EVs), can be central to protecting reliability, according to a new Southern California Edison (SCE) paper describing the evolution of tomorrow’s grid. >> Read more

Exelon nuclear fleet generated 150M MWh of carbon-free power, 95.4 % capacity factor in 2020

The renewables wing utility giant Duke Energy is acquiring a 144-MW solar project in Texas.

Recurrent Energy, a subsidiary of developer Canadian Solar, is selling the Pflugerville Solar project in Travis County Texas. The project is currently under construction and expected to achieve commercial operation midway through this year. >> Read more

Be Prepared. Think Safety.