During a recent Smart Grid and Cybersecurity panel hosted by AREVA and Duke Energy at UNC Charlotte, nearly 160 people heard industry experts and researchers explore the potential and challenges of the nation’s electric grid—from integrating renewables and storage to the critical need for advanced cybersecurity blunting increasing online threats and incursions.
The opening comments by Duke Energy’s Shann Coleman, Manager of Strategic Nuclear Alliances and Variable Resources, focused on the utility’s commitment to provide safe, reliable, affordable energy and how AREVA’s innovative products and services support them in meeting this goal. As an example of Duke Energy’s commitment, Coleman described the most recent enhancements of the grid in their service territory, where they have completed more than $1 Billion in upgrades during the past seven years and plan to spend another billion dollars this decade.
AREVA’s Eric Dorman, Product Line Manager of Cybersecurity Solutions, detailed the importance of cybersecurity from generation to transmission and distribution. He also described how AREVA’s cybersecurity solutions work with utilities to protect critical digital assets, physical assets, and enterprise networks from exploitation in the most practical and cost-effective manner. To emphasize the danger, Dorman provided real-world examples of failures to protect information and the devastating consequences this can have.
In closing, each of the panelists echoed the point that innovation and security are important for utilities, but they must make business sense, too.