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US utility ComEd has partnered with Xage Security to demonstrate how blockchain technology can enhance the security and operational efficiency of grid networks.

The main aim is to address the challenges resulting from an increase in distributed energy resources that are integrated with the main grid.

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The pilot will be conducted at ComEd’s Grid of the Future Lab where emerging technologies such as microgrids are also being tested.

The lab has been created to come up with new solutions to enhance grid resilience and sustainability.

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Dr Amin Khodaei, chairman of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Denver, and a ComEd partner on this demonstration project, said: “The growth of DER provides many potential values to the distribution grid.

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“Advanced control and communications frameworks enabled through blockchain can help to further build the foundation for the decarbonized, digitalized and decentralized grid while making it more resilient from a cybersecurity perspective.”

Duncan Greatwood, CEO of Xage Security, Inc, added: "Grid modernization needs to be implemented with sophisticated and comprehensive security solutions from the start. "Cyberattacks are becoming more advanced and focused, bypassing network-level protection to target specific industrial control systems. Smart grid cybersecurity must protect every digital interaction.”