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The Road from Perdition is The Road to GRIDEON

image credit: GridBright
Stephen Callahan's picture
EVP GridBright

Stephen J. Callahan is Executive Vice President for Grid Modernization and Chief Marketing Officer at GridBright, Inc (https://gridbright.com/). Over his 35 plus year career in industry...

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GridBright, for the last five years, has been engaged in research under two ARPA-E projects focused explicitly on cloud-based data exchanges.  Through these projects, GridBright investigators have encountered many, if not all, the threats and risks of secure grid data exchange (SGDX).  Our learnings provide the cornerstones for GRIDEON.

GRIDEON is an open-source-based suite of easy-to-use cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) applications, technologies, enablement and support services, and standards that provide the full set of capabilities required to instantiate any type of secure grid data exchange.

I will be writing more about GRIDEON in the future, but first, how did we get there?

BetterGrids Repository

he first project established the BetterGrids Repository. The Repository is a free library of curated, non-sensitive grid models shared voluntarily by grid researchers. It includes synthetic and anonymized grid models created under the ARPA-E GRID DATA Program and uses a rigorous curation process to ensure data quality. AI tools for semantic and natural language searching allow researchers to find their desired test data easily. BetterGrids Repository is used by thousands of grid researchers in 45 countries and has been in production since 2017. Most users are in universities, research institutes, consulting companies, software companies, national labs, and utilities.

GridBright has released the Repository software as open-source software and has founded a dedicated non-profit, tax-exempt corporation, BetterGrids Foundation (www.BetterGrids.org), that governs the Repository Users Group.  Volunteers from 50+ organizations, including universities, utilities, ISOs, and consulting companies, are engaged.   

Secure Grid Data Exchange (SGDX)

The second project was initiated in 2019 when DOE ARPA-E awarded GridBright a contract (DOE Award# DE-AR0001030) to develop the Secure Grid Data Exchange (SGDX). SGDX is a service that is a user-friendly but secure cloud-based approach for sharing sensitive grid infrastructure data. It is based on off-the-shelf proven open-source distributed-computing technologies and leverages GridBright's prior DOE-funded work building cloud-based grid data exchange solutions.  

Secure, compliant, and efficient data exchange is foundational for managing the communication, coordination, and collaboration required to handle accelerating demands on utilities to integrate renewable and distributed energy resources. Such data exchange is also necessary to ensure resilience in the face of increasingly frequent and extended detrimental natural events and to meet deepening demand for exchange of highly correlated, contextual, and timely information between an expanding set of new energy ecosystem actors.

SGDX aims to provide electric value chain participants the capability to exchange sensitive grid and operational data at the highest level of cybersecurity, comply with federal, state, and industry regulations for exchange of grid and customer data, scale services on-demand providing efficient operations in both standard and "extreme" circumstances, standardize data exchange processes for new energy grid operations and market transactions, and automate the workflow of the data exchange process.

 

The benefits of the SGDX are simplified and standardized grid communications that reduce cyber-security exposures, improve resiliency, and maximize compliance. It eliminates the need for expensive private communications networks and outdated point-to-point systems. It improves the operational efficiency of the modern grid value chain with more DERs and fewer CO2 emissions.

GridBright's SGDX partners include Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative, Inc., and the BetterGrids Foundation.  Through BetterGrids Foundation, we have engaged over 50 organizations interested in enhancing access to grid data to benefit electric grid operations and research.  We have also conducted structured interviews with over 40 representative electricity value chain participants from utilities, ISOs, independent power producers, regulators, technology vendors, academia, national labs, and consultants on requirements for the secure exchange of grid data. 

These projects' learnings have born GRIDEON (www.GRIDEON.com)—the next step in the secure grid data exchange journey.  GRIDEON will help all grid eco-system participants avoid the growing threats of cyber intrusions and compliance penalties that may happen as a result of exchanging sensitive grid information. 

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Thank Stephen for the Post!
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