- There could be coast-to-coast blackouts for weeks if nine key substations were knocked out, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) study that was reported on by the Wall Street Journal.
- There are 30 substations in the U.S. that play an oversized role in grid operations and FERC's analysis shows that knocking out different sets of nine of them would could bring the entire grid system down.
- Concerns about grid security were triggered by an attack last year on a California substation. Federal regulators are considering establishing new physical security standards to prevent damaging attacks.
- States are jumping on the issue. The Arizona Corporation Commission is studying the threat of attacks on utility infrastructure and a bill was introduced this week in the California Legislature that would require utilities to draw up security plans for their facilities.
- FERC's acting Chairman Cheryl A. LaFleur blasted the Journal for publishing information about the report.
The Wall Street Journal article notes that some people think the FERC report may be overstating the danger, but it clearly shows how the grid may be more vulnerable than generally thought. Microgrids, anyone?