The U.S. electrical power grid includes energy generation, energy
transmission, and energy end-users in factories, cities, towns and
homes. Energy generation includes coal, gas and oil-fired
plants, nuclear plants, hydroelectric power at dams, and wind and solar
"farms". Transmission includes the long-distance wires of transmission towers,
the power transformers where power is drawn off, and the wires within
local utilities to the end users.
This grid is vulnerable to cyber attacks from state and individual actors on the computer systems that control the energy generation and transmission. It is also vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) coming naturally from the Sun or artificially from detonation of nuclear weapons at an altitude of about 250 miles above the Earth. An EMP induces a high-voltage surge in wiring, overcoming normal surge arresters and burning out whatever systems they may be attached to such as power transformers, household electrical systems, computers, water pumps, water heaters, automobile computers, gasoline pumps, etc.
Our utilities are also vulnerable to physical attack, such as rifle attack on power transformer stations. This has already taken place.
Cyber, physical and EMP attacks can also affect electrical equipment including satellites, computers, automobiles and trucks. Many businesses and agencies of government have back-up power generation, but an EMP can disrupt that if it is wired in when the attack happens.
Without power it is much harder to produce or deliver food, medicines or consumer goods, operate emergency services, or communicate. Banking and telephones may be shut down, stores may run out of food within a week, and medicines will be depleted within one week to a month. First responders such as ambulances, police and fire trucks may stop unless they are protected against EMP.
It is possible to "harden" the electrical grid, home electrical systems, cars and trucks so EMP will not affect them as much. The military has hardened many of its war-fighting and communications systems, but the civilian world has done very little. The utilities companies say it is the duty of the federal government to pay to harden electric systems, while the government says it is the business of the electric utilities, which are private businesses, to harden their own systems. In the meantime citizen groups in some states are taking it upon themselves to get their grids hardened. These include Texas, Virginia, Maine, Florida, New York, Oklahoma, Alaska and Alabama. To see the Alabama effort, go to PowerGridDefense.org
Chairman - Gregory H. Allison, HAL5 Founder
Co-Chairman / Scientist - Edward B. Kiker
Secretary - Vacant
Outreach - Col. Victor P. Budura, Jr. USAF Retired
Texas Outreach - David Christensen
AIAA Contact - Brandon Stiltner
Infra Gard Contact - Paul E. Daymond
The Huntsville Alabama L5 Society (HAL5) forms the nucleus of the Power Grid Defense Conference Committee. Other organizations we are working to be involved with are:
Should you wish to contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Allison, Power Grid Defense Committee Alabama
c/o Huntsville Alabama L5 Society
PO Box 22413
Huntsville, AL 35814
Website: www.powergriddefense.org, www.HAL5.org