U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has a vital mission: to secure the Nation from the many threats we face. This requires the dedication of more than 230,000 employees in jobs that range from aviation and border security to emergency response, from cybersecurity analyst to chemical facility inspector. Our duties are wide-ranging, but our goal is clear—keeping America safe.
Smart Grid Initiatives
DHS has a keen interest in the security and resiliency aspects of the Smart Grid. Of particular interest are the smart grid characteristics of self-healing from power disturbance events, and operating resiliently against physical and cyber threats. To further these goals, DHS S&T has been working on several initiatives including:
Resilient Electric Grid
Resilient Electric Grid (REG) is an effort to “keep the lights on” in the event of a power outage by enabling distribution level power substations to share power with one another. The primary goal of REG is to develop and demonstrate an inherently fault current limiting, high-temperature, superconducting cable for increased electric grid resiliency. This technology offers several benefits, most significantly allowing substations to interconnect to share power and assets without the risk of fault currents cascading through the grid and causing damage.
The Recovery Transformer (RecX) project will enable rapid recovery and resiliency of electrical power, which is critical to our security and national economy. This program is developing a prototype RecX to enable recovery within days instead of months (or years). Current Extreme High Voltage (EHV) transformers are very large, manufactured overseas, difficult to transport and procure, and timely to install. The RecX prototype will be smaller, lighter, easier to transport, and quicker to install than traditional EHV transformers.
JASONS Study: Smart Grid Technology Assessment
DHS tasked the JASONS group to assess the current state of the Smart Grid concept for the electric power grid, as well as specific technologies needed to achieve the DHS end-state goal of ensuring Smart Grid security and resiliency. Three aspects of physical and cyber security and resiliency of the emerging Smart Grid implementation were evaluated: (1) existing large-scale generation, transmission, and distribution components that serve as its backbone, (2) advanced sensor networks and metering infrastructure currently being deployed and (3) new architectures that may be enabled. The JASONS is currently finalizing the recommendations and report for this study.