New York, New York (PRWEB) May 12, 2014
International Quality & Productivity Center (IQPC) announced today it will be offering the first ever utility industry summit devoted to identifying, discussing, analyzing, and prescribing for dangers that could cause America's electric grid to fail, possibly catastrophically.
The IQPC team is bringing together the most authoritative "who's who" on the subject of preventing, responding to, and recovering from physical damage to the power grid infrastructure (transmission and substations). Those in attendance at the Power Grid Resilience conference will hear specific approaches for converting a spares transformer equipment strategy into immediate operating reality.
In addition to the information-packed learning sessions, participants have an opportunity to meet with high profile speakers such as Dr Peter Vincent Pry, Frank Gaffney Jr., Judge Jeanine Pirro, Jon Wellinghoff, John Lightfoot (Special Agent FBI in charge of the PG&E attack investigation) and many more.
COMPLIANCE PLANNING FOR COMING REGULATIONS
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) said it would soon enact new rules for physical security of key substations and other facilities critical to the operation of the electric grid. The vulnerability of electrical substations has been readily apparent for many decades – but never openly acknowledged.
FERC, in a strongly worded order, said it would require physical protection for locations which, if badly damaged, could produce cascading blackouts or other widespread problems.
Make no mistake; the new regulations will be tough ones. The Wall Street Journal reported "utilities face fines of $1 million a day for each infraction of the new rules." Simply put, there's no room for error.
The Power Grid Resilience conference is designed to help utility executives comply with coming new FERC regulations. This includes workshops and master classes detailing how to carry-out vulnerability risk assessments and produce a first-rate total security plan to confront and minimize vulnerabilities.
Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, and Director of the US Nuclear Strategy Forum, a confirmed speaker for the event, said "only by developing a systematic, well-organized disaster planning document can utilities determine what it must focus on to achieve required performance and results."
THE FUTURE THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED IN THE WORLD OF UTILITIES
There is a time lag between a major event and its full impact. Last year's attack on the Metcalf substation, south of San Jose, California, by gunmen took out 17 of the 20 giant transformers that funnel power to Silicon Valley.
It took the utility almost a month to repair the substation; no one has yet been arrested in the incident. This was a wake-up call.
Congressional leaders have, finally, decided to distinguish between an incident and a trend. The attack on the Metcalf substation is now being classified as a probable trend.
FERC has not yet provided detailed guidance on the specific rules. But many of the Power Grid Resilience conference speakers will fill in the gaps and reliably predict what to expect.
Bottom line: it's quite likely FERC's new rules will be in place by the time the conference is held.
Sherene Asnasyous, director of the September conference said, “this conference focuses on the 'how-to-do-it' aspects of customized disaster prevention, response, recovery planning, and details exactly how to assess and enhance the security of transmission and distribution assets from intentional physical and cyber attacks."
THE CHANGING WORLD OF THE UTILITY EXECUTIVE
The main impacts of FERC's stringent new regulations are already predictable, and in some cases already with us.
The first impact will be quick adoption of what Frank J. Gaffney Jr., President and CEO of the Center for Security Policy, another confirmed keynote speaker at Power Grid Resilience, categorizes as, "practical, near-term and relatively low-cost steps to prevent unprecedented catastrophe from possible long-duration disruption of the electric grid."
The use of existing and emerging technologies to improve physical security of substation and transmission line assets will also spike as utilities seek solutions to comply with emerging regulations.
Utilities have implemented a variety of approaches to address physical security and engaged a wide range of solution providers with varying success. "Sharing solutions that have worked and lessons learned will benefit the entire utility community,” said Ms Asnasyous.
TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE
Nobody has time, given the urgency of the situation, for continuous trial-and-error learning. We must learn more and more from the experience of others. That's where this conference comes in. It examines and illustrates tested and proven best practices, methodologies, and technologies that can be beneficial across the entire industry.
Simply put, the conference provides the basis for action. It does not forecast tomorrow; it looks at today. The conference’s central theme asks and answers the question, “what do we have to tackle today to make tomorrow?"
The conference is thus a Call for Action. The proceedings of this conference will serve to organize and more thoroughly convey to the utility industry the right things to do and how to do them right.
Says Ms Asnasyous, "with fleeting tendencies toward modesty, the program presents an astonishing synthesis of a rather complex subject."
IQPC provides business executives around the world with tailored practical conferences, large scale events, topical seminars and in-house training programs, keeping them up-to-date with industry trends, technological developments and the regulatory landscape. IQPC's large scale conferences are market leading “must attend” events for their respective industries.
To learn more about IQPC’s Power Grid Resilience conference and its speakers, visit http://www.PowerGridResilience.com, call +1 212 885 2762 or email James.Linney(at)iqpc(dot0com.