The work of Cigre subcommittee SC D2

November 22nd, 2013, Published in Articles: Energize

The scope of SC D2 is:

ICT as applied to the electricity networks of the future:

  • Telecommunication networks in electric power utilities (architectures, media, protocols, etc.)
  • New ICT architectures to control the bulk power systems (smart meter, smart grid, intelligent grid, control centres EMS, MMS, etc.)
  • ICT governance within utilities – in-house versus outsourced
  • Information security within the electric power utilities (EPUs) working groups

New working groups (WG) that have recently been established within SC D2 are:

WG D2.31 Security Architecture Principles for Digital Systems in Electric Power Utilities (EPUs).

This WG follows the work delivered in 2009 by WG D2.22 (Treatment of Information Security for Electric Power Utilities). WG D2.22 covered the common understanding and terminology for the handling of information security and focused on three issues: frameworks for EPUs on how to manage information security, risk assessment management, and security technologies for industrial control systems. The focus of WG D2.31 is to identify and develop security architecture principles for digital systems in EPUs.

WG D2.36 Communication Solutions for Information Exchange in the Smart Delivery of Electrical Energy.

The need for smart grid applications within EPUs has grown substantially in recent years. Implementing the optimal underlying information exchange infrastructure and the required mix of communication solutions and technologies is very important. The objective is to avoid excessive investment for unused communication capability or conversely, insufficient communication capability for planned applications. This working group aims to provide a comparison of experiences, assessments, implementation scenarios and migration plans for the communication infrastructure in order to prepare guidelines for the EPUs.

WG D2.34 Telecommunication and Information Systems for Assuring Continuity and Disaster Recovery.

The occurrence and impact of natural catastrophes in recent years have proved that even the most prepared EPUs experience unexpected difficulties when facing these extraordinary situations. The power system operation and in particular its recovery from disastrous failure relies extensively on communications and it is essential for EPUs to have robust and resilient telecommunication infrastructure, fast deployment communication facilities, and adequate work processes for these emergency situations. This working group aims to provide comparison of experiences and emergency systems and procedures amongst EPUs in order to set best practices guidelines for the power community.

WG D2.35 Scalable Communication Transport Solutions over Optical Networks.

The introduction of smart applications in the EPU and consequent dispersed intelligence is resulting in a tremendous growth of information exchange across the power system. This implies, in many cases, a step-change in the requirements of the telecommunication infrastructure and often the deployment of a core data transport network which nowadays may be implemented through a number of different technologies and architectures. This working group aims to identify and analyse solutions and migration plans in the light of data network technology evolutions, new application requirements and a utility’s capability to maintain the system’s operation.

JWG B5/D2.46 Application and Management of Cyber Security Measures for Protection and Control systems.

This is a joint working group with SC B5 (Protection and Automation). Cyber-security threats, whether real or imaginary, are becoming increasingly publicised and there appears to be endless guidelines, standards and best practices that all claim to provide some defense against the threats and attacks. This WG will focus on considering the available standards and determining how they can be effectively deployed, and whether the security breaches on the application level are mitigated by their respective recommendations.

There have been no new SC D2 publications in 2013 thus far but the following documents were published during the course of 2012:

  • Brochure 507: Communication Architecture for IP-based Substation Applications
  • Brochure 495: Communications Access to Electrical Energy Consumers and Producers
  • Electra Articles ELT263-8: Communication Architecture for IP-based Substation Applications
  • Electra Article ELT261-07: Communications Access to Electrical Energy Consumers and Producers

Contact Rob Stephen, Eskom, Tel 031 563-0063,

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