The CHIPS and Science Act Will Increase Demand for Engineers

CHIPS-Act

By EE Times / Design Lines:

“The $52 billion spending plan outlined in the CHIPS and Science Act that has been signed into law has significant implications for the semiconductor ecosystem—from chip manufacturers to engineers and production teams.

EE Times asked two design engineers to weigh in on the implications of the Act for engineers in the U.S., in the short and long term. Will it simply help return the design engineering process to status quo pre-2020? Or are there greater changes afoot that will drive a significant shakeup of the semiconductor design and manufacturing process? The answer lies somewhere in between.”

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DOE: Distributed Energy Resources Need to Be Designed with Cybersecurity Protection

Cyber-protection-of-DERs

By Utility Dive:

Distributed Energy Resources (DERs) present major obstacles in grid reliability and protection against cyberattacks and threats. DOE states “they should be designed with security as a ‘core component.’

An attack on distributed solar or battery storage resources would have ‘negligible impact’ on grid reliability today, DOE said, but the capacity of DERs on the electric system is expected to quadruple by 2025 and the agency warned that each of those systems could be hacked.”

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CHI Memorial Is Recovering from a Ransomeware Attack

CHI-Memorial

By the Chattanoogan: “Officials of CHI Memorial said their parent company has engaged cybersecurity experts and is working with law enforcement on a costly computer hack.

Sonia Moss, marketing manager, said, “Upon discovering the ransomware attack, CommonSpirit took immediate steps to protect our systems, contain the incident, begin an investigation, and ensure continuity of care. Patients continue to receive the highest quality of care, and we are providing relevant updates on the ongoing situation to our patients, employees and caregivers.”

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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (October)

NERC

By NERC: “WASHINGTON, D.C. – October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, which highlights some of the emerging challenges in the world of cybersecurity. NERC’s Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC) is supporting the campaign as a Cyber Security Awareness Month champion. This year’s theme, “See Yourself in Cyber,” focuses on four primary best practices: enabling multi-factor authentication; using strong passwords and a password manager; updating software; and recognizing and reporting phishing.”

“This year’s campaign is very timely as evidenced by the recent spate of high-profile hacks that often start with credential theft,” said Manny Cancel, NERC’s senior vice president and CEO of the E-ISAC. “It demonstrates the importance of organizations having strong information technology protocols and procedures in place combined with a need for employee training and awareness. NERC and the E-ISAC support a month focused on raising awareness of cyber security, which coincides with our annual grid security conference GridSecCon, cohosted with ReliabilityFirst this year.”

“With rising cybersecurity threats to the United States energy infrastructure and the reliability of the bulk power system, the need for shared heightened vigilance cannot be underestimated. The E-ISAC continues to collaborate, coordinate and communicate with industry stakeholders and government partners to collectively enhance the cybersecurity posture of the North American grid. The E-ISAC encourages its members to practice good cyber hygiene and always maintain a Shields Up posture. Good practices across both information technology and operational technology networks include: applying security patches as soon as possible, maintaining strict access management, baselining systems, encouraging strong passwords and multi-factor authentication and sharing cyber incident information with the E-ISAC. And, finally, E-ISAC stakeholders who are not yet members are encouraged to join find out more information at www.eisac.com.”

Chattanooga EPB’s Gigabit Generated $2.7 Billion in Economic Benefits

EPB-fiber-optics-network

Telecompetitor – EPB of Chattanooga’s gigabit broadband infrastructure has generated $2.69 billion in economic benefits to the community during its first decade of operation, according to a gigabit economic benefits report from the Rollins College of Business at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The study, which was conducted by Bento Lobo, Ph.D., head of the Department of Finance and Economics, identified five ways in which EBP of Chattanooga has benefited the community:

The infrastructure created and retained 9,516 jobs, which is about 40% of jobs created in Hamilton County during the study period.

The project kept unemployment down. This is especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic. The network enabled businesses to transition quickly to remote work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the county’s unemployment rate in November 2020 was 4.7%. That’s a lower rate than the state of Tennessee overall and also lower than in the U.S. overall (5.3% and 6.7%, respectively).

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Five Reasons Remote Technology Makes Sense

Remote-Control-SCADA-Automation

PowerMag – The case for advanced analytics and remote diagnostics: During the last 25 years significant advancements have been made in remote monitoring capabilities for power plants. A number of operations and maintenance (O&M) functions can routinely be managed remotely, and it is also becoming more common for peaking and renewable energy plants to be remotely operated reliably and safely.

Operating and maintaining a full-scale power plant remotely presents challenges that require sophisticated systems, reliable sensor and diagnostic equipment, stable high-bandwidth communication, and advanced security protocols. Even with progress made in each of these areas, some plant managers don’t foresee a scenario where remote operations will become the norm. But even in cases where there are no plans to run a generating station from a remote location, there is still a solid case for adopting remote technology.

Here are five reasons why the case for remote technology is stronger today than ever before.

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