Electric Utilities and Substation Security

Electrical substations are a vital part of the power grid and are mission critical to providing electrical services to millions of people. Attacks on electric substations and other components of the electrical grid underscore the risks from physical security breaches and their consequences.

These challenges, along with longstanding problems of copper theft, vandalism, and liability have added urgency for power generation and utilities to implement automated security systems that detect and send alarms about security incidents in real time.

Industry Challenges

While terrorist activity at substations and other power generation utilities is always a concern, theft and vandalism are more common. And with the price of copper at an all-time high, substations have also become an attractive target for theft, causing expensive losses while compromising the safety of the substation itself.

The need for reliable intrusion detection systems to protect electrical assets has never been higher. People responsible for protecting utility assets are often concerned about:

  • Safety of their personnel and the community
  • Disruption of service that threatens the grid’s resilience
  • Liability and negative perception caused by theft or disruption
  • Remote asset protection of widely distributed power assets
  • Ensuring compliance with NERC CIP 14 or other national security guidelines

Often located in a remote and isolated areas, our utility clients need the ability to accurately detect intruders as early as possible—ideally before they enter a secured area—and alert security staff with trusted alarms and video evidence.

For a buffer zone beyond the fence line, they are looking to use automated security cameras with real-time alerts as an early warning system.

SIGHTLOGIX SOLUTION

SightLogix smart thermal camera systems are being used at utilities throughout North America, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, protecting assets that include substations, solar farms, hydro facilities, power transmission and distribution, and nuclear power.

Our clients have turned to SightLogix smart thermal cameras to address substation security challenges for a number of reasons, including:

  • Our system’s unmatched analytic detection performance, which detects and acquires an intruder’s speed, bearing, and geo-location in milliseconds – for the fastest preemptive response
  • The power of our geospatial system to provide early-warning over massive buffer zones outside, inside, and at the fence – over hundreds of meters far and wide
  • Our system’s ability to automatically zoom and follow a detected target for real-time assessment
  • SightSensors’ unprecedented thermal video clarity to quickly assess a security event as it unfolds

We work directly with our clients and their integrators to develop a complete design solution that uses SightLogix smart cameras to provide comprehensive protection over these important power assets.

At a typical example of a substation security solution, SightSensor cameras are positioned along the perimeter, paired with SightTracker smart PTZ controllers that direct high-resolution pan tilt zoom cameras onto the target for alarm assessment.

When a SightSensor camera detects an intruder, an alarm is triggered to alert security personnel, and the target’s location information is sent over the network to a SightTracker Auto PTZ controller. This controller automatically zooms and steers PTZ cameras to follow the intruder. All of this information is also recorded for forensic use.

View our video:

Detecting and Tracking Instruders at a Substation

Summary

With a proven track record of providing a high level of security for substations, our clients can expect:

  • Excellent detection with minimal nuisance alarms
  • Reduced infrastructure and maintenance costs from reliable, long-range systems that built to survive the toughest elements
  • A system that is very easy to install, setup and maintain
  • Outstanding support from the SightLogix team

When looking for a solution that provides the highest level of detection performance and that is used around the world to protect electrical assets, our clients choose SightLogix.

Read our commonsense guide to protecting electrical substations here:
https://sightlogix.com/substation-security-whitepaper

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Please note, SightLogix products are sold through certified system integrators.