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Regulatory prospects drive electric grid infrastructure security

34-NS-Southern-400A manufacturer and service provider specializing in high voltage power transmission and distribution, Hampton, Ga.-based Southern States, LLC has added turnkey security solutions anticipating Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) moves on electric utility substation and critical-site protection.

The agency took the first step in what could be a progression of rulemaking activity late last year by adopting the Physical Security Reliability Standard (CIP-014-1). Issued earlier in 2014 by the North American Electric Reliability Corp., the standard has been advanced, FERC notes, “to enhance physical security measures for the most critical Bulk-Power System facilities and thereby lessen the overall vulnerability … against physical attacks.” Such events “could adversely impact reliable [System] operation, resulting in instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading failures.”34-NS-SouthernII-300

In a new infographic, “Substation Security–Assess, Implement, and Protect,” Southern States charts areas where concrete or other ballistic impact-grade materials are warranted in light of Standard CIP-014-1 measures. The firm operates Switching, Power Switching, Sensors and Automation, and Service divisions, adding substation protection systems to the latter. Initial products Southern States has developed for critical facility components and perimeter areas are Ballisti-Wall and Ballisti-Cover—panels or shields of multiple, woven fiberglass layers encapsulated with a proprietary resin. Using standard panels in nominal ¼-, ½- and ¾-in. thicknesses, Ballist-Wall and Ballisti-Cover provide protection equivalent to UL 752 Standard for Bullet-Resisting Equipment Levels 1, 2 and 3, which measure a structure’s ability to absorb the impact of three shots, respectively, from 9 mm, .357 magnum and .44 magnum firearms. — www.southernstatesllc.com34-NS-SouthernIa-600