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Maine’s Electric Grid Receives $1.4 Billion Security Overhaul

Security has become a primary concern for the energy and power industry since the 2013 attacks on the Pacific Gas & Electric substation in 2013 that almost caused a wide-scale power outage to millions. The attack on the electrical substation caused phone services outages from severed fiber optic cables and numerous overheating transformers were forced to shut down from coolant oil leak. This unprecedented act showed the gaping holes in the industry’s security measures and spurred a nationwide overhaul.

Central Maine Power (CMP) is not the first, or last, electrical provider to take the Metcalf substation incident into account when fortifying their electric grid. The $1.4 billion effort is the largest project in the state’s history and encompasses a video surveillance and access control overhaul across CMP’s 27 substations. The security cameras being installed at these locations are capable of seeing in both light and dark, can zoom on areas up to half a mile away, and read license plates while maintaining true HD video resolution which helps boost their security teams’ visibility and response time across the state.

In addition to these high definition surveillance cameras, CMP has also installed an extensive access control network that has over 700 keycard readers which throttles access to both the facilities themselves and sensitive areas therein. Even snow plow drivers cannot pass through the facility’s gates without swiping a card at the gate. Every time that a card is scanned, the access control system displays the card owner’s image on the screen and logs the time and door the card was swiped.

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Brian Merritt

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