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In Case You Missed It: Boston Conference 2018

By in General | July 17, 2018

 

2018 brought its own series of challenges, opportunities and concerns to the power industry – ranging from grid issues to cybersecurity threats resulting in new regulations. This past April, Doble Engineering Company held its 85th International Conference of Doble Clients in Boston to bring together professionals from various areas of the power industry to discuss how these important issues impact their work.

Key topics at this year’s conference included asset management and replacement strategies, storm preparedness, operating concerns and diagnostic approaches. In total, over 1,000 attendees participated in the week-long event with utility professionals representing the largest pool, followed by manufacturers.

Check out the video from the first day of the conference.

In his keynote address at the Doble Conference, Richard Jones, Vice President of BRIDGE Energy Group, shared that hackers today are smarter, faster and taking more targeted approaches. Traditional physical infiltration strategies are a thing of the past, as hackers look to new methods – such as credential theft and activating “sleeper cells” – to wreak havoc on communities and the energy infrastructure.

In the presentation, Jones stated that applying regulatory compliance to your grid protection strategy is the recommended approach. Within a truly compliant grid, effective data management practices and test applications are necessary and work to fortify the energy system against attacks beyond what rules can ensure.

The focus on threats like cybersecurity attacks and gaps in data management and test applications will establish what Jones referred to as a risk-based approach throughout your grid. By implementing a risk-based approach, teams will have more awareness into their grid networks and have access to a holistic view to proactively address important issues that arise in a manner that simplifies required support and enables them to focus on grid restoration.

Planning for the Unexpected in the Power Grid

When it comes to unplanned outages – especially those caused by the elements – expect and be prepared to respond to the unexpected, including shifting weather patterns, language barriers, resource shortages and closure of transportation routes.

Coordinating the logistics of restoring a fallen power grid is one of the biggest challenges faced by energy teams. From defining roles to transporting staff to locations with power outages, resources and manpower, energy companies are often up against limited situation awareness and assessment reporting when arriving on-site. Given these circumstances, risk to the power grid can increase when plans, policies and procedures are not followed. A delay in action among responders and disorganization can lead to murky restoration management and communities without power in harsh environmental conditions. To keep the grid resilient in even the toughest of situations, regular emergency response exercises and continued monitoring and analysis of transformer data are essential to getting the lights back on in a timely manner.

This conference was designed to facilitate peer learning, and by attending, the audience learned and discussed ways to optimize operations and maximize performance. Holistic security approaches prevail because they foster awareness, collaboration and provide a holistic view of grid operations and control. Leveraging existing relationships across all touchpoints of the energy sector after an unplanned outage will allow leadership to make timely decisions, swift assignments and obtain greater situational awareness to restore power sooner.

Interested in upcoming Doble events? See our events page for more trainings, webinars and sessions.

 

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Doble Engineering Company

Doble Engineering Company