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Standardization Security Synchronization Connected Substation

Niccolò Zazzeri

01 November 2016

31 December 2018

EC funded project


3S-CS is a project Co-funded by the Center for Industrial Technological Development, Junta de Andalucía and European Regional Development Funds under INNTERCONECTA program. It focuses on an experimental development of an IEC 61850 integral control system for substations based on five pillars: Standardization, Security, Synchronization, Wireless Communications and IoT.

Electrical substations need to be protected and secured against cyber-attacks. Communications and access to substation control systems are evaluated with a deep threat modelling, detecting vulnerabilities and proposing mitigation actions.

To ensure the remote operations on the RTUs of an electrical substation a VPN connection to access RTU is also developed

Who is the project designed for?

3S-CS project will enable electrical utilities to perform a most efficient and secure control on the electrical substation making use of the different developments included in the project. In addition, it will position the substation in the IoT world. The project includes the final validation of the solution in a real electrical substation of Endesa Distribución, what provides added value to the results. The presence of Endesa Distribución in the project consortium, as end user, guarantees that the developments are aimed to the needs of the market, projecting their future exploitation in the most demanding markets. In addition, since 3S-CS is a global and integrated project in which different technologies and systems converge (IEC 61850, wireless communications, cybersecurity, IoT) to improve the energy efficiency of the electrical grids, the project is positioned in a scenario where there is not a clear consolidated competence in the market that covers all the features.

How will your project benefit the end-user?

The European Union Framework Strategy includes among its key objectives on the energy topic, offering consumers a safe and efficient energy that protects the environment. In this context, electrical substations play a fundamental role in this process. Only Endesa, representing a third of the Spanish supply, has in Spain 1.237 substations that distribute 114.190GWh. That fact involves that innovations applied to electrical substations will have a significant impact on the improvement of the energy efficiency. In recent years, new technologies and regulations to be applied to these infrastructures have emerged, such as: wireless communications, robust and secure protocols to operate in high-noise environments, new standards for the security of these critical infrastructures, such as IEC62351 for substations or IEEE1686 for control devices; or the Internet of Things (IoT) regarding the digital interconnection of physical devices. Considering these recent technologies and focusing on electrical substations, 3S-CS provides solutions to the needs laid out by the EU referring to the improvement of the energy efficiency and the security of the electrical grid. 3S-CS supposes a technological leap since up to date there are not references of electrical substations combining the latest revision of the IEC61850 standard, wireless communications, cybersecurity and IoT connectivity.


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