Author: James Formea, Eaton, USA

The PSCCC Main Committee met during the JTCM, as did the Power Line Carrier (C0), Protocols and Communications Architecture (P0), and Cybersecurity (S0) Subcommittees, and many working groups (WG), task forces (TF), and study groups (SG) of these subcommittees.

The Power Line Carrier Subcommittee (C0) is in the process of updating the ANSI/NEMA C93.5 standard. The new revision, titled “Standard for Requirements for Power Line Carrier Transmitter/Receiver Equipment use to Transfer Discrete Teleprotection Signals” is anticipated to go to ballot in early 2020. In addition, the subcommittee intends to work with the PES Transformers Committee to transfer the ANSI/NEMA C93.1 standard to their Instrument Transformers Subcommittee to become C57.13.9, IEEE Standard for Power-Line Carrier Coupling Capacitors and Coupling Capacitor Voltage Transformers.

The Protocols and Communications Architecture Subcommittee (P0) has a number of ongoing activities, including the revision of IEEE Std 1815, IEEE Standard for Electric Power Systems Communications-Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3), and the commissioning of a new study group to explore possible standardization of the recently-developed DNP3 interoperability profile for distributed energy resources (DER).
The subcommittee also formed two additional new study groups, one to review IEEE Std C37.236, IEEE Guide for Power System Protective Relay Application Over Digital Communication Channels, and another to begin preparing a protocol-centric beginner’s guide to IEC 61850, focusing on the function of the protocols themselves rather than on applications.

The Cybersecurity Subcommittee (S0) is also working on numerous projects, including the standardization of encryption protocols and interoperability profiles for serial and network communications, and the development of functional designations for cyber services and cybersecurity functions in IEDs.
In addition, work is underway to develop IEEE Std P2658, Guide for Cybersecurity Testing in Electric Power Systems, aimed at the testing and commissioning of cybersecurity controls and measures used in electric power systems. A new study group was also formed to examine special requirements for the virtualization of traditional IED functions.

The S0 Subcommittee was pleased to host a number of utility information technology (IT) representatives as attendees at the JTCM. This collaboration between IT and operational technology (OT) personnel is essential in identifying and addressing the cybersecurity challenges facing utilities today.
A new task force will meet at the PSRCC/PSCCC meeting in May to begin drafting a report aimed specifically at addressing IT-OT Cybersecurity challenges and interested utility IT representatives are highly encouraged to attend.
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.

BeijingSifang June 2016