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Lockheed Martin is developing a cyber security operations center for American Electric Power (AEP) in Columbus, Ohio.
The center will let AEP monitor in real-time what is happening on its grid, collecting all the data extracted from its GridSmart AMI program deployment, said Ken Van Meter, Lockheed Martin general manager for energy & cyber services. It will be open for visits by other utilities.
In addition to its government works, Lockheed also applies software or operations-management tools to utilities, Van Meter said. Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) has millions of “hackable points,” so meters and other endpoints need protection, he added.
Lockheed looks to customize its smart grid products for each utility, to eliminate costs for equipment not needed or becomes outmoded too quickly, Van Meter said. Lockheed markets its Smart Energy Enterprise Suite (SEEsuite), which helps utilities comply with changing regulatory requirements, shed load during peak demand periods and maintain grid stability. The suite includes SEEload for DR (demand response) management, SEEgrid for smart grid operational awareness and SEEview for integrated resource management.
AEP Ohio won a $75.2 million Smart Grid Regional Demo Grant (SGRDG) for its GridSmart program. The utility will test the integration of Distributed Generation (DG) resources and energy-storage devices and seek to improve cyber security of AMI and Distribution Automation equipment. The $150 million project should be ready to go May 2012. Other smart grid-related utility clients for the defense contractor include PPL Electric Utilities, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative for projects involving cyber security, DR and operations management.
Meanwhile, work is progressing on the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Panel’s governing board. Work continues, but it remains a challenge to bring everyone together.
The eventual landing point for interoperability standards is FERC. The commission is working on the first batch of five standards from NIST, which deal with communication and cyber security issues.

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