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Project: T083700 #3501

Perimeters of stations containing high voltage apparatus are secured to protect the public from high hazard areas and to protect valuable station assets from theft, vandalism, mischief and sabotage. The electrical utility industry has made good progress towards improving perimeter security as threats and risk have increased. New developments in perimeter security systems and practice are continually assessed with a view to applying appropriate solutions to further improve the security of electrical transmission stations.

Electrical utilities are responsible for many transmission stations vital to the reliability of the interconnected grid and regional and local supply. These stations must be properly secured from threats and risks that vary widely by station type, size and location.

This report presents the results an investigation into the current state of electrical utility transmission station perimeter security. It examines contemporary security practices and systems with a focus on their application in utility operations. Current utility practices and station threat profiles for various station types were examined through comprehensive site visits with three North American utilities. With the support of utility personnel, threats and risks were analysed for selected transmission stations of varying sizes and configurations believed to be representative for most electrical utilities. Site investigations, interviews and surveys were used to reveal the perimeter security practices currently used by utilities. The investigators assessed the effectiveness of these practices in the face of current threats. The norms for security practice in other industries were also considered in the transmission station perimeter security assessment. Recommendations for security improvement were developed for the visited sites, shared with the owner utilities, and used in this report. Finally, the investigators searched for and assessed new security technologies that might be applicable to transmission station perimeter security.

Participating utilities selected different transmission station types for assessment and made their operations and security personnel available for detailed interviews. Utilities also responded to surveys and helped the investigators compile information on station threats, risks and perimeter security performance. With input from the utilities, threat profiles for the various station locations were considered. The investigation team discussed site visit findings and preliminary recommendations with each utility visited and a formal report was provided to the owner utility for each site visit.

This report documents utility transmission station security practices, threats, risks, perimeter security techniques and products. Analysis leads to recommendations for improvement and a list of good transmission station perimeter security practices which utilities may consider implementing.