Energy sector braces for ‘Black Swan’ Cyber Attacks and Power Grid outages

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WASHINGTON — The North American Electric Reliability (NERC) hosted GridEx V this week. The annual Grid Security Exercise (GridEx) is an opportunity for utilities to demonstrate how they would respond to and recover from simulated coordinated cyber and physical security threats and incidents, strengthen their crisis communications relationships, and provide input for lessons learned. This exercise is conducted every two years.

According to NERC, over 6,500 participants representing more than 425 government and energy sector organizations in the United States, Canada and Mexico took part in the two-day exercise.

GridEx V was designed for distributed play, coordinated locally by a designated asset owner and operator lead planner. An executive tabletop exercise (TTX) occurred concurrently with senior industry and government leaders. Due to the sensitive nature of scenario discussions, this exercise program was not open to the general public nor the media.

These geographically-distributed exercises are designed to execute the electricity industry’s crisis response to simulated coordinated cyber and physical security threats and incidents, to strengthen utilities’ crisis response functions, and to provide input for lessons learned.

Sources: NERC and Security Week


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Washington D.C. Commission Approves Exelon’s Merger with Pepco

$7 Billion deal creates the nation’s top power distributor

WASHINGTON—Washington D.C. regulators on Wednesday, March 23, 2016, approved power company Exelon Corporation‘s merger with Pepco Holdings Inc., a decision that clears the last regulatory hurdle facing the $6.8 billion deal to create the country’s top power distributor.

pepco-exelonThe D.C. Public Service Commission, which regulates power, gas and telecommunication companies in the District of Columbia, voted to approve the merger, a commission spokeswoman said. The vote was 2 to 1.

Pepco’s shares rose 28 percent, or $5.92, to $27.16 while Exelon’s shares were largely unchanged.

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Sources: CNBC and Reuters    Image courtesy: WMAL
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