Protecting the nation’s electric power grid and ensuring an affordable, reliable and secure supply of energy are top priorities for electric cooperatives. The North American power system is an incredibly complicated machine. System owners and operators, who have the greatest expertise in responding to and mitigating threats and vulnerabilities in this complex system, are engaged across the industry and with government to plan and prepare for existing and potential threats to the reliability of electricity in our nation.
The electric sector’s strategy to protect critical assets is known as defense-in-depth, and is designed to address a wide variety of hazards to electric grid operations, including severe earth and space weather, cyber incidents, vandalism and other natural and manmade events. The electric power sector continuously monitors the bulk electric system and responds to events large and small. Consumers are rarely aware of these events primarily because the sector successfully executes its defense-in-depth strategy every day. In cases where an event impacts the consumer, this strategy combined with experience from decades of lessons learned maintaining and supplying power to the country have resulted in more efficient restoration of power.
As member-owned, not-for-profit utilities, electric cooperatives make protection and security of their systems and consumer-members’ assets a high priority. NRECA works with its co-op members, industry partners and government agencies to develop and implement effective approaches to protecting systems.