Smart grid Turkey: US funds IT/OT integration pilot

Turkey-US investment in smart grids
Smart grid Turkey: USTDA confirmed it is funding a Turkish pilot in a bid to open the door for US technology companies into the southern European country

In southern Europe, Turkish electrical utility company Kayseri ve Civarı Elektrik Türk AŞ (KCETAŞ) has secured a grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) to deploy a US-supplied software system for real-time data infrastructure.

The US-funded grant is aimed at opening doors for US smart grid companies in Turkey and to help utilities improve the electrical transmission infrastructure, according to a statement released this week.

The Data Integration and the Automated Demand Side Management Pilot Project (ADSM) at KCETAŞ will provide a data infrastructure to enable better understanding of the availability and demand for electricity.

The project will deploy California-based operations software company OSIsoft’s PI system, an industry standard in enterprise infrastructure for management of real-time data and events.

The pilot will access, collect and integrate distribution operations technology and information technology data into one common environment and establish a standards-based integration strategy for data mining and visualization tools for decision support.

Smart grid monitoring for better grid management

By enabling real-time smart grid monitoring the project aims to reduce peak power load requirements and to improve the generation, transmission and distribution resources of the KCETAŞ electricity network.

The project will also establish the optimal strategy to extract, integrate and visualize data and deploy enabling capabilities in future smart grid initiatives in Turkey.

Leocadia I. Zak, director of USTDA, said: “USTDA is pleased to partner with OSIsoft and KCETAŞ on this project, which we believe could have a transformative effect not only in Kayseri, but across the entire Turkish distribution grid.

“By successfully demonstrating the utility of this leading US technology, we hope that OSIsoft and other US firms may gain greater access to the vast smart grid project opportunities in Turkey.”

Turkey’s grid under attack?

The vulnerability of Turkey’s electricity grid was exposed in March this year when a 12-hour outage left 40 million without power.

Although originally explained by human error and technical faults, media reports in May 2015 hinted that the outage could have been caused by a cyber attack originating from Iran.

Reports from Bloomberg and the UK’s Observer newspaper speculated that the 12-hour outage may have been due to Turkey’s support of Saudi Arabia in a dispute against Yemen.

It is believed that Parastoo, an Iranian hacker group, is responsible for the attack, and it may be recruiting hackers with the skills to breach industrial control systems of the type used in power utilities.