Topic: Securing Distributed Autonomous Grid Systems with OpenFMB: Results of Securing a Microgrid at Duke Energy’s Mount Holly Test Laboratory
Speaker: David Lawrence
Technology Development Manager Emerging Technology Office
The NAESB Open Field Message Bus (OpenFMB) model business practice standard addresses the importance for interoperability among devices, systems and applications. Industry-changing activities such as distributed energy resources (DER), microgrids and advanced demand response require disparate field devices to work together remotely, autonomously and with minimal delay. This is key to the operation of a more efficient, cost-effective and secure grid. Grid security has been focused on fences and firewalls to secure the enterprise, control systems and substations. These are important physical and cyber components of a Defense in Depth strategy. However, as smart sensor technology and autonomous systems have advanced, the attack surfaces in utility networks are increasing. When coupled with legacy protocol vulnerabilities and slow adoption of best practice security features in field devices, the grid remains vulnerable. A security practice focused on field device trust, white-listing of actors, encrypted messages, and understanding control system determinism and vulnerabilities is required to operate the distributed interoperable grid of the future. Duke Energy is working to defend the grid from attacks by building systems that detect, block, inoculate, recover from, and report on intrusions. This talk presents Duke Energy’s findings on securing its Mount Holly microgrid. The Mount Holly lab has diverse energy field devices and communications mediums. The lab supports present day substation equipment as well as distributed electrical applications including a microgrid of solar arrays and inverters, batteries and battery inverters, load banks, reclosers, meters, and PMU’s all communicating over OpenFMB. For Duke Energy, the Mount Holly microgrid serves as a best practice prototype for securing distributed autonomous systems with OpenFMB.
About the Speaker
David Lawrence is a Technology Development Manager with Duke Energy working in the Emerging Technology Office. In this role, he provides leadership on a portfolio of technologies for the Future Grid, including development of use cases and requirements, architectures and designs, and technology test plans. He works in defining and executing technology evaluations, and providing change management support. Mr. Lawrence is currently focused on Grid distributed autonomous functions, edge analytics, and security for distributed technologies.
Mr. Lawrence has 38 years of experience in the energy industry. He worked in research and development and IT management for electric metering, transformer, and switchgear product manufacturing. His roles included embedded systems and protocol development, engineering management, global engineering information systems, manufacturing execution and scheduling systems, product life-cycle management, and IT management. A native of Portsmouth, VA., Mr. Lawrence earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and has been awarded six US Patents.