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Seminar Presentation: A thesis precursor

On April 5, 2021, I presented at the UIUC ECE Power and Energy group seminar, ECE 590i. I presented on the part of my thesis research that was conducted at UIUC. The video is available here.


The penetration of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) is growing at much higher rates than predicted 20 years ago. Far from being used only in residential settings, DER are now installed on distribution and transmission circuits. In this position, they do not have the same properties as traditional generators and are more flexible in many cases. The growing penetration and range of uses for DER motivates the need to reliably integrate safely and them into the grid. Operators must be able to rely on them not only for normal operation, but also in abnormal conditions like black starts or adverse cyber scenarios. To that end, we study the communications, device interfaces, and potential consequences of DER operation under abnormal and adversarial conditions. The weaknesses of communications networks are studied based on the industrial protocols used, and the benefit of security features are examined. The device interfaces are found to be vulnerable to attack based on the requirements in the IEEE-1547 standard for DER interconnection and interoperability, which is expected to be adopted in the next ten years.


In this presentation, I discuss the use cases of adversarial manipulation that were studied in the project, as well as the framework for mitigation measures that I was in the process of developing.



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