Join SEIA At Secure Renewables ’22: Securing the Path to Net Zero
Friday, Apr 15 2022
This week, the Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. intelligence agencies sent an alarming alert: the nation’s energy system is actively being targeted by new malware that could disrupt and damage critical infrastructure. It’s a stark warning for an industry tasked with keeping the lights on for millions of homes and businesses across the country. The threat of bad actors is never far away, and those systems must always be at the peak of preparedness.
Renewable energy growth has occurred in parallel to connecting and digitizing our daily lives. With our connected world and new security threats at hand, it could not be a more important time to make certain that the leading energy technologies of the future are also at the leading edge of security. A first-of-its-kind conference, Secure Renewables ’22, will examine how to ensure solar is the most reliable and secure technology on the grid as it rises to become one of the U.S.’ main energy resources in the next decade. Hosted by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in partnership with Idaho National Lab (INL), join us April 20-21 in San Antonio – registration is still open.
Secure Renewables ’22 features an A-list of cybersecurity and renewable energy experts prepared to talk through the details of how the U.S. can design infrastructure and protocols right from the start to securely operate renewables on the grid for decades to come.
One the main challenges today is the maze of agencies currently charged with cybersecurity regulation. Just at the federal level, the DOE, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Energy Reliability Corporation (NERC), and Homeland Security are involved – not to mention state-level policy and regulatory bodies. With hundreds of gigawatts of renewable power anticipated to be connected to the grid by 2030, the sector cannot afford confused or contradictory guidelines, but rather requires a clear vision forward.
To help guide us through this maze, a session aptly titled “Too Many Chefs in the Kitchen” will underscore the need for a consistent national strategy. This session’s panelists include FERC commissioner Willie L. Phillips, CEO of the Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center and NERC senior vice president Manny Cancel, and AVANGRID vice president and chief security officer Brian Harrell. Later sessions at the conference will dive into these issues and the players involved in greater depth, including two sessions exploring the perspectives of utilities and industry.
In acknowledgement that the challenge has only intensified in recent months as the U.S. navigates its response to Russia’s war in Ukraine, the conference will also explore the growing role of renewables in national security. White House assistant national cyber director Harry Krejsa, INL director of critical infrastructure security and resilience Dan Elmore, and SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper will set the stage with a session exploring how the clean energy transition can further both energy independence and climate goals.
All sessions at Secure Renewables ’22 will emphasize real-world applications, giving industry leaders the resources they need to invest in a secure renewable grid. The conference’s second day is dedicated to the CyberStrike training program, developed by the Department of Energy to help energy sector staff practice for the worst-case scenario of a total system breach. This training will allow attendees to apply their newly gained knowledge on live exercises using real equipment and scenarios routinely experienced by utility owners and operators.
Solar has long been known as a critical solution for addressing the threat of climate change. But as we were sharply reminded this week by the latest cybersecurity alert, there are other threats at hand where the solar industry must demonstrate its leadership. The conversations at Secure Renewables ’22 are intended for our industry to get it right from the start and ensure that solar is the most secure and reliable source of energy on the grid. We hope to see you there.