Author: James Formea, Eaton, USA

The IEEE PES Power System Communications and Cybersecurity Committee (PSCCC) recently held its annual May meeting jointly with the Power System Relaying and Control Committee (PSRCC) in Cincinnati, OH.
The Protocols and Communications Architecture (P0), Cybersecurity (S0), and Power Line Carrier (C0) subcommittees of the PSCCC all met, following meetings of more than twenty-five working groups (WG), task forces (TF), and study groups (SG) of these subcommittees. Updates from each subcommittee were presented to the PSCCC main committee in a final session.

The Protocols and Communications Architecture Subcommittee (P0) held its first meeting of Study Group (SG) P15 to determine whether or not to pursue standardization of the recently published DNP3 Application Note, DNP3 Profile for Communications with Distributed Energy Resources. The group made a recommendation to pursue this activity, and as a result, P15 will meet as a new Working Group in September to start working on this very exciting project.
The work of P15 will involve coordination with other industry stakeholders and standards development organizations to standardize the content of the Application Note as an interoperability profile under IEEE Std 1815. Please consider getting involved in this important work!

The P0 subcommittee also requested the formation of a new Working Group P14 to update IEEE Standard C37.236, IEEE Guide for Power System Protective Relay Applications Over Digital Communication Channels, after a single meeting of the related Study Group. The group plans to update the existing Guide to include descriptions of new and updated technologies being used for communicating protection schemes.

The Cybersecurity Subcommittee (S0) has many Working Groups hard at work on new and existing standards and guides, a number of which are expected to enter a balloting stage soon. Working Group S2 is finalizing drafts of P1711 and P1711.1 related to cryptographic protocols for electric power system communication links and the Serial SCADA Protection Protocol (SSPP), respectively.

Working Group S4 is finalizing work on the related P1711.2 for Secure SCADA Communications Protocol (SSCP). The relatively new Working Group S7 is preparing a new standard, P2808, for Function Designations used in Electrical Power Systems for Cyber Services and Cybersecurity. Another new WG, S8, is focused on the development of P2658, a new Guide for Cybersecurity Testing in Electric Power Systems. With many active projects in progress, additional contributors are always welcome!

The S0 Subcommittee was again pleased to host utility information technology (IT) representatives as guest attendees during the May meeting. Task Force S9 is charged with drafting a report to address the challenges facing utilities as information technology and operational technology (OT) systems and personnel converge to address cybersecurity concerns.
The task force will meet again at the PSRCC/PSCCC joint meeting in September, and any interested utility IT representatives are highly encouraged to attend; efforts will be made to facilitate remote participation.
The PSCCC is always looking for additional participants to offer their expertise and knowledge in the areas of power system communications and cybersecurity.

Please visit our website at: / to get in contact with us and keep up-to-date with our ongoing activities and upcoming meeting schedule! 


James Formea earned his BSEE from Marquette University and is Engineering Manager for Control Systems & Technology in the Power Systems Division of Eaton, where he leads a diverse team of engineers in the specification, implementation, and field support of system protection, communications, automation, and cybersecurity features across Eaton’s portfolio of medium voltage distribution system controls. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and is the Secretary of the IEEE PES Power System Communications and Cybersecurity Committee. He is also a member of IEC Technical Committee 57 Working Group 15. When not working on utility solutions or industry standards, he can be found supporting public safety communications interoperability and incident management initiatives as an officer with his local fire department.

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