The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) today
expressed satisfaction that a provision directing an assessment of the
electrical grid was included in HR 3696, the National Cybersecurity and
Critical Infrastructure Protection Act of 2014, which passed the House
yesterday by voice vote.
“Inclusion of the SMART Study Act as a provision in this
cybersecurity bill demonstrates just how critical grid technologies are
to a world facing increased cyber threats,” said NEMA President and CEO
Evan R. Gaddis.
The provision would result in a comprehensive assessment of
actions necessary to expand and strengthen the capabilities of the
electrical power system to prepare for, respond to, mitigate, and
recover from a natural disaster or cyberattack.
It was originally incorporated into the legislation through an
amendment offered by Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ) in the Homeland
Security Committee markup.
“Cyber threats are a major challenge as we transition to a
modern electrical grid,” said Gaddis. “We believe this study would go a
long way in describing how the electrical grid can be made more
resilient through adoption of new technologies.”
Cybersecurity is only one threat facing the grid, Gaddis noted.
Events such as Superstorm Sandy serve as a reminder that the grid is
vulnerable to naturally-occurring events. A 2013 report released by the
Executive Office of the President estimates that the annual cost
nationwide of weather-related grid outages averages between $18 and $33
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Rosslyn, Virginia. Nearly 400 members strong, its companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical imaging and radiation therapy systems. Total U.S. shipments for electroindustry products exceed $100 billion annually.