TransActions - April/May 2014 - GDS Associates

TransActions – April/May 2014

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Physical Security Threats and the U.S. Power Grid

TransActions Newsletter 214 FINAL.aiRecently, physical security of the electrical power grid was thrust into the national limelight largely due to news media reports about the April 16, 2013 sniper attack on Pacific Gas & Electric’s Metcalf Substation in San Jose, California. This well-orchestrated, strategic attack, which included disabling of telecommunications prior to shots being fired, lasted nearly 20 minutes with the last shots being fired 12 seconds after law enforcement arrived.

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Controlling Lightning Induced Outages on Overhead Lines

Overvoltage protection, often called lightning protection, plays an important role in the design and operation of an electric system. Power distribution systems are asked to perform flawlessly in some of the most hostile weather environments. For many areas in North America, 20% of all power outages can be directly attributed to lightning. Not only does lightning cause an inconvenience to a customer, it typically damages utility electrical equipment as well as potentially, retail customers’ personal residences and electronics. Good lightning protection helps save equipment and reduces outages; while inadequate lightning protection costs money.

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