Modular and provably secure distributed energy resource (DER) monitoring framework.
Grant Program (CFDA)
Place of Performance
Aledo, Texas 76008-1160 United States
Single Zip Code
Uberspark was awarded Project Grant DESC0023752 worth $206,500 from the Office of Science in July 2023 with work to be completed primarily in Aledo Texas United States. The grant has a duration of 9 months and was awarded through assistance program 81.049 Office of Science Financial Assistance Program. The Project Grant was awarded through grant opportunity FY 2023 Phase I Release 2.
SBIR Phase I
Modular and Provably Secure Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Monitoring Framework
The level of distributed energy resources – small-scale energy sources sending power to the bulk power system, such as rooftop solar panels – is dramatically increasing, posing a cybersecurity risk for America’s power grid. Distributed energy resources greatly increase the number of devices that are owned and controlled by consumers and third parties, with a significant dependency on digital communication and control, a point of exposure for cyberattacks. Such attacks can prevent a utility from performing necessary control actions and have catastrophic consequences, harming grid reliability and stability, affecting public safety, and incurring large costs to respond to a cybersecurity incident. In 2022, the leading North American electric power reliability entity reported that distributed energy resources are often internet-connected and have little or no cybersecurity requirements. A Department of Energy report calls for addressing cybersecurity threats as a “designed-in” consideration for distributed energy resources.Current encryption and authentication solutions are insufficient, as a vast majority of distributed energy resources lack sufficient built-in authentication mechanisms. Current firewalls and network monitoring tools are not equipped to handle the custom engineered nature of the operational technology network and run on commodity operating environments, exposing a wide attack surface and single points of failure, susceptible to botnet and other attacks.The proposed provably secure, modular, distributed energy resource monitoring framework will utilize mathematically-backed, secure, network monitoring that is immune to entire classes of adversarial attacks, such as spoofing and flooding, that impact security and reliability. This provably secure, modular, distributed energy resource monitoring approach will effectively eliminate the single point of failure for monitoring and provably guarantees that communication to and from a distributed energy resource is isolated, attributable and always passed through an associated analytic stack on the monitoring domain before being forwarded. This provides the “designed-in” guarantee that a malicious distributed energy resource will be unable to bypass its network traffic analysis/enforcement. This in turn will help accurately visualize and integrate distributed energy resources within a complex operational technology environment and log information about tamper-proof assets.Provably secure, modular, distributed energy resource monitoring and attribution will help ensure safe, large-scale integration of distributed energy resources into the power grid through providing ironclad, mathematically-backed cybersecurity, without degrading grid reliability, stability or performance.
Last Modified 7/24/23
Period of Performance
100.0% Federal Funding
0.0% Non-Federal Funding
Award ID FAIN
Award ID URI
892430 SC CHICAGO SERVICE CENTER
|Science, Energy Programs, Energy (089-0222)
|General science and basic research
|Grants, subsidies, and contributions (41.0)