US Energy Department’s NETL Starts Phase 2 Of Blockchain Power Plant Security Research

The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has commenced the second phase of a blockchain project that aims to prevent cyberattacks on power plants.

The phase two of the $1 million research project, which is being conducted in partnership with Colorado-based security firm Taekion, will explore how blockchain technology can be used in a similar fashion to secure a power plant, where a distributed ledger is kept of all sensor, actuator and device transactions. Project participants will also aim to enable secure energy transactions to protect process data at power generation facilities as well as increase grid reliability and integrate a more decentralized energy infrastructure.

“Accurate information on the status of power plant operations is critical for electric grid security,” NETL said. “The applications being developed in the NETL-managed project have the potential to thwart such attacks by preventing hackers from altering the plant’s operational information.”

The blockchain project is part of DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy Sensors and Controls program and was funded through DOE’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which was created to support scientific excellence and technological innovation through the investment of federal research funds in critical American priorities to build a strong national economy.

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