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DoE Award Results in NRTC Strategic Grid Security Partnership

Doug Lambert / Feb 2, 2016

NRTC introduced the MultiSpeak® “Secure Protocol Enterprise Access Kit” (MS-SPEAK) security project to the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to formulate a highly significant security solution for the smart grid. The NRTC/DoE partnership was awarded $1.65 million of the overall $220 million “Grid Modernization Initiative.”

Energy Secretary Dr. Ernest Moniz states, “Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on.”

I will be on hand in the NRTC booth (#735) to offer more information about MS-SPEAK during the upcoming TechAdvantage Expo in New Orleans, Feb. 15-17.

NRTC’s MS-SPEAK is an approach to improve interoperability and cybersecurity between systems in a way that will also reduce costs for the utility. The project is spread over three years wherein a mature industry product will enable additional protocols and operational security.

I believe that a successful MS-SPEAK outcome will securely connect, inspect, and transform MultiSpeak messages traveling through utility intranets and extranets. System operators and engineers will have full access to their operational data.

These efforts will be complementary to NRECA’s Essence Project, an earlier cybersecurity technology, also developed in cooperation with PNNL. The NRECA effort led by Dr. Craig Miller, chief scientist, changed the security landscape effectively focusing on the operational exchange of MultiSpeak between devices such as smart meters and other newly deployed intelligent technologies. Dr. Miller’s vision is consistent with NRTC’s strategic goal of providing technical solutions to cooperatives.

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