NREL’s Cyber Range: A Virtual Environment for High-Fidelity, At-Scale Evaluation (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video NREL’s Cyber Range: A Virtual Environment for High-Fidelity, At-Scale Evaluation.

(Text on screen)
Narrated by:
Dane Christensen
NREL Secure Cyber Energy Systems Manager

Our energy systems are evolving quickly, and we urgently need new ways to explore their future—to understand the interdependencies between electric and communication networks and to study and de-risk products and systems that operate across both domains.

At NREL, we’re looking at many critical energy security challenges, including:

  • Coordinating the exponentially growing fleet of grid-connected devices in our homes, buildings, and roads
  • Establishing incentives for multiple parties to jointly deliver robust cyber defenses for our shared infrastructure
  • Gaining visibility into hardware and software supply chains for our energy technologies.

Building on our expertise in grid edge technologies, the Internet of Things, and energy systems integration at all scales, NREL is leading the design of intrinsically secure future grid systems.

With the Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems, or ARIES, we can support integrated research at a scale relevant to large metropolitan cities and regions. As part of this groundbreaking capability, we have developed a scalable cyber range, powered by our unique Cyber-Energy Emulation Platform.

This NREL cyber range makes it possible to create entire energy systems in a virtual world, unlocking our ability to safely explore cyber vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies, rapidly de-risk novel technologies, and support workforce development and training so we are prepared for whatever the future holds.

The cyber range has been invaluable already in validating low-cost security innovations for distributed renewables, mitigating security threats to fast electric vehicle chargers and infrastructure, and establishing new approaches for energy security communications through 5G network slicing.

What distinguishes NREL's cyber range from other emulation environments is its integration with the vast ARIES experimental platform.

This capability will expand across all of ARIES to support communications and cybersecurity for physical systems, including bulk power renewables as well as distributed energy systems.

By extending this physical infrastructure with a high-fidelity and scalable virtual environment, NREL's cyber range offers a highly realistic evaluation environment for proactive defense, improved situational awareness, and communication innovations that support our transition to a future energy system that is clean, resilient, and intrinsically secure.