Grid Security – Georgia Transmission

Grid Security

July 11, 2022

When it comes to grid security, Georgia Transmission is prepared. For decades, we have worked with Georgia System Operations Corp. (GSOC), local EMCs, industry partners, and federal and state regulators to ensure Georgia residents can enjoy reliable power without interruptions. Here are a few ways our team works to actively defend the state’s power grid from threats that would impact reliability, such as severe weather, a security breach or other destructive forces.

Rigorous Compliance Standards:

We believe in doing things the right way, which is why Georgia Transmission began actively preparing for reliability threats and grid security issues even before official governing standards were put in place. Today, our team regularly conducts security reviews and adheres to rigorous compliance standards such as the federally mandated NERC CIP (North American Electric Reliability Corp. Critical Infrastructure Protection) cybersecurity standards.

Our robust planning and reviewing process helps ensure a level of system resiliency that isolates the impact of unexpected transmission facility outages. If concerns arise when evaluating our planning models, we initiate a project to strengthen the transmission grid in that area. Our goal is to ensure a swift and coordinated response and recovery of Georgia’s Integrated Transmission System (ITS), no matter the potential threat.

Real-world Threat Simulations:

Along with GSOC and the state’s electric utilities, Georgia Transmission participates in real-world exercises to give us the opportunity to test the established protocols. One such simulation is NERC’s GridEx, the largest grid security exercise in North America.

The 2021 GridEx simulated coordinated cyber and physical attacks on the North American bulk power system, helping more than 700 participants exercise their response and recovery plans. NERC and the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) study the outcomes and lessons learned from each GridEx exercise to help improve the security of the North American grid.

Grid Security Partnerships:

To manage a secure and dynamic power grid that can reroute electricity quickly if outages occur, Georgia Transmission collaborates with numerous electric industry partners, cybersecurity experts and government agencies. We work hand-in-hand with entities such as the Department of Energy, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI and E-ISAC, to share threat intelligence, enhance our risk management protocols and extend our grid security and cybersecurity capabilities.

We also have put in place strategic agreements with other utilities enabling us to support each other when needed. For example, Georgia Transmission is a member of the RESTORE spare transformer utility group that provides access to high-voltage power transformers owned by other utilities, in case of a catastrophic event.

Commitment to Preparation:

The risks to our power grid have evolved over the years, but preparation is a decades-old practice at Georgia Transmission. From assessing the effects of Mother Nature to predicting those posed by sophisticated cyberattacks, we are vigilant in defending the strength and integrity of our transmission network.

You can be confident we’ll do everything in our power to maintain a steady power supply for your community.