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The Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) has said it is mandatory for Regional Power Committees to conduct third party cyber security audits on communication systems of electricity transmission towers from July
It said the third party audit can be conducted only by CERT-In (India Computer Emergency Response Team).
The commission has come out with directives called the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (Communication System for inter-State transmission of electricity) Regulations, 2017 that will be effective from July 1.
These regulations provide for planning, implementation, operation and maintenance and upgrade of reliable communication system for all communication requirements including exchange of data for integrated operation of national grid.
“Keeping in view the importance of the communication system in a vast meshed network at the National, Regional and State level in India, a need has been felt to specify the regulations regarding Communication System for inter-State transmission of electricity,” CERC said.
CERC said a communication infrastructure shall be planned, designed and executed to address the network security needs as per standard specified by Central Electricity Authority and shall be in conformity with the Cyber Security Policy of the Govt. of India, issued from time to time.
It said that the National Load Dispatch Centre shall monitor cases of cyber security incidences and discuss them at the regional power committee level and then take necessary actions.
According to CERC’s notice, these regulations shall apply to the communication infrastructure to be used for data communication and tele -protection for the power system at national, regional and inter-state level and shall also include the power system at the state level till appropriate regulation on communication is framed by the respective State Electricity Regulatory Commissions.
“All Users, SLDCs, RLDCs, NLDC, CEA, CTU, STUs, RPCs, REMC, FSP and Power Exchanges shall abide by the principles and procedure as applicable to them in accordance with these regulations,” the regulation said.
It said CEA will formulate communication planning criterion and guidelines for development of reliable communication system for power system of India duly considering requisite route redundancy, capacity, as well as requirements of smart grid and cyber security.
The CERC further said CEA will constitute and notify a Standing Committee for communication system in power sector. The Standing Committee will be responsible for preparing a perspective plan for communication duly considering optimal utilization of transmission assets for communication purposes having regards to the transmission planning carried out by CEA through Standing Committee on Power System Planning.
The committee will also monitor and facilitate timely completion of schemes and projects for improving and augmenting the associated communication system along with transmission system in the power sector.
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