Smart Grid Cybersecurity Lessons Learned From More Than 11 Million Smart Meters Deployed

Presented By:
Henry (Hank) S. Kenchington, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Department of Energy
Date and Location:
Friday, March 1, 2013 - 1:00pm
NCSA Auditorium | Webcast
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The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided DOE with $4.5 billion to modernize the electric power grid and implement “Smart Grid” as outlined in Title XIII of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. These funds have been used to develop a comprehensive, sustainable program aimed at removing barriers to enable rapid private sector deployment of smart grid systems. Most of the funding ($3.4 billion) was used to implement the Smart Grid Investment Grant (SGIG) program, which deployed smart grid technologies and systems across the US transmission and distribution system to improve reliability, security, and efficiency. The ARRA SGIG federal funds were leveraged with $4.5 billion in private sector funds for a total investment of $7.9 billion to modernize the nation’s power grid.

Since 2009, the SGIG program has deployed significant smart grid technologies across the transmission and distribution system, as well as customer systems that help end-users better manage their electricity use. Key technologies include networked synchrophasors to provide wide area situational awareness on the transmission system, distribution automation and smart relays, advanced communication and control systems, advanced metering infrastructure and smart meters, and customer systems such as in-home displays, programmable communicating thermostats, and direct load control devices.

Together, these technologies will improve the reliability and resilience of the grid by adding "intelligence" to the system. But there is a downside to this – these technologies add new cyber access points, including millions of smart meters that are easily accessible. Therefore it is imperative that security is “designed-in” to these systems from the onset.

Mr. Kenchington will discuss progress of the SGIG program, how cyber security is being addressed, and some of the key “lessons learned” from these deployments.


Hank Kenchington currently serves as Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (OE).  He is responsible for OE’s efforts to accelerate grid modernization across the US through the deployment of advanced digital communications and control technologies (commonly referred to as “smart grid” technologies).  In this role he directs the $3.4 billion Smart Grid Investment Grant program, funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, to upgrade the nation’s power grid.  Mr. Kenchington has a BS in mechanical and nuclear engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a master’s degree in engineering management from the George Washington University.

Seminar Status:
About the TCIPG Seminar Series:

The seminar series is presented by the Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid (TCIPG) Project, an $18 million multi-university research effort whose partner institutions include the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State University, Dartmouth, and Washington State University. The TCIPG Project, a successor to the earlier NSF-funded TCIP Center, was founded in 2009 with support from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. It is housed in the Information Trust Institute, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.