Networking giant joins smart grid accelerator project in Britain


According to a release, “the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) alliance based at the University of Strathclyde contains functioning distribution networks at 11kV and low voltage. It is supported by university researchers, academics, and government and industry representatives. including Scottish Enterprise, Scottish and Southern Energy, UK Power Networks, Vodafone, and the Scottish Funding Council.”

Building intelligent, resilient networks

The project is aimed at developing monitoring and control systems to manage energy in real time, together with the necessary infrastructure and security to cope with the increase in devices connected to the energy network. Though this, the group hopes to support innovation in the utilities industry.

Scot Gardner, Cisco’s UK and Ireland chief executive said: “There are few sectors that have the potential to both impact and be impacted by digitization in such equal measure. With an anticipated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, the pressure placed on power networks – whether directly, or indirectly – is set to increase exponentially in the  next decade. This is a pivotal point in time for the sector, and we are delighted to be partnering with the PNDC and its members to help address the opportunities that lie ahead.”

Cisco partners with AES Eletropaulo on cybersecurity

In other news, Cisco has partnered with AES Eletropaulo to implement next generation cybersecurity features including firewalls, VPN, switches and high-capacity routers. The Brazilian utility will use these technologies to segregate different environments and enable new solutions for the smart grid. The new cybersecurity features will be implemented by Cisco’s partner, PromonLogicalis. Cisco noted that AES “sought a topology that would provide scalability and would meet the [its] security requirements.”

A company release states that the isolation of the operating perimeter, which includes the meters, substations and power distribution systems of the corporate perimeter (which includes intranet and database); was a primary concern. Isolation would allow a secure connection with the web or with ERPs (administrative systems). Read more …


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