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NYPA Trustees Authorize $7 Million in Funding to Strengthen Cyber Security of Power and Transmission Assets

Michael Saltzman

December 18, 2007


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees Tuesday authorized $7 million in funding to enhance the cyber security of NYPA’s power generation and high-voltage transmission facilities to meet new requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).

The eight new standards, which were issued last August, provide a comprehensive set of requirements to protect the nation’s power system from cyber attacks—computer-to-computer assaults—and to ensure continued reliability of electricity service.

The new standards require utilities to establish plans, protocols and controls to safeguard physical and electronic access to systems, train personnel on security matters and report security incidents and to be prepared to recover information.

“The Power Authority has long recognized the importance of protecting its more than $3 billion in power generation and transmission assets from cyber attacks,” said Dennis Eccleston, chief information officer, NYPA. “We have 18 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit miles of power lines that account for approximately one-third of New York State’s high-voltage lines. The additional measures that we’re undertaking to comply with the new federal standards will contribute to our further safeguarding those assets.”

Eccleston noted that NYPA expects to fully meet the new cyber standards by mid-2009, with work already under way by an interdepartmental team from Power Generation, Transmission, the Office of Inspector General and Information Technology. Expenditures of $4.2 million are planned for 2008, with $2.8 million slated for 2009.

The new standards were developed and issued in 2006 by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) before being adopted by FERC.  NERC is a certified electric reliability organization dedicated to improving the dependability and security of the bulk power system in North America.

 About NYPA:

■    NYPA uses no tax money or state credit.  It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity.  ■    NYPA is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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