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Smarter electric power systems

The Cypress project: Cyber-Physical Risk of the bulk Electric Energy Supply System

Cyber-Physical Risk of the bulk Electric Energy Supply System
2021-02-24 15:36:27

On 1 November 2020, the Cypress projected started. The project is being carried out by KU Leuven/EnergyVille, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Liège Université and Blacklight Analytics and aims at developing novel knowledge, methods and tools needed to help ensuring the security of supply through the transmission grid, while accounting for the specific nature of cyber-threats and integrating them into a coherent probabilistic risk management approach. The project has a duration of 5 years.

Context and project objectives

Reliability management of electric power transmission grids is in practice carried out via the so-called N-1 security principle, prescribing to ensure continuity of supply subsequently to the loss of any single transmission system element (lines, transformers, cables). However, it is well recognized:

i) that the N-1 principle is not optimal from a socio-economic point of view, and that a probabilistic risk management approach would yield a better tradeoff between the cost of energy supply and the benefits of continuity of,

ii) that in addition to grid-component failures, the system should also be able to resist to malfunctioning of its information and communication subsystems and to cyber-attacks. This malfunctioning can occur due to induced failures or due to misinformation.

The physical threats covered by the N-1 principle are mostly due to weather and component ageing related failures of lines, transformers, and substation equipment. These threats are increasing and more and more complicated to manage, because of climate change and because of the increasing age of the infrastructure, and in particular of the transmission and distribution grids. On the other hand, the cyber-threats acting on the power system are even more rapidly increasing, because of the quickly growing foot-print and complexity of its information and communication subsystems and because of their permanent functional evolution.

At the same time, adverse entities, like criminal organizations, terrorist groups, or foreign nations, become increasingly capable of attacking the power system by intruding into its cyber-layers and intentionally creating malfunctions of these layers. While probabilistic risk-management has been quite well explored in the scientific literature, and even starts to be used in practice, the interactions of cyber-vulnerabilities with power system physical stability limits has been hardly explored even in the scientific literature. The proper understanding of these interactions is however paramount to correctly manage the reliability of electric energy supply via the transmission grid. Therefore, the overall goal of the CYPRESS project is to contribute to the advancement of science and engineering in cyber-physical reliability management of the transmission grid. We will consider both operation planning decision making horizons (up to years ahead in time) and real-time operation (the last few minutes ahead in time) as two complementary main practical use-cases. Our three objectives are to (i) improve modelling

practice, and to develop novel cyber-physical risk (ii) assessment and (iii) mitigation approaches.

Project description

In order to reach its objectives, the project is articulated along three research work packages in order to develop: i) novel models and benchmarks for computer simulation and laboratory testing of the cyber-physical electric power system security of supply, ii) techniques for assessing the cyber-physical security of electric energy supply, and iii) techniques for enhancing the cyber-physical security of electric energy supply. Furthermore, an additional longitudinal work package is devoted to the dissemination and exploitation of the results of the project towards the stake-holders, such as the scientific community, energy system regulatory bodies, grid and system operators.

Our partners

Logo Blacklight
Logo KU Leuven
Logo ULB
Logo Liège Université
project coordination

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