The companies receiving the awards are either involved with research and development on innovative cyber-security solutions or the establishment of the National Electric Sector Cyber-security Organization (NESCO).
The Energy Sector Security Consortium will form the organization to be known as NESCO, a broad-based, public-private partnership working to improve electric sector computer and network cyber-security, including those used in the smart grid. Working with the DOE and other federal agencies, NESCO will facilitate assessing and testing the security of new cyber technologies and analyzing, monitoring, and disseminating infrastructure weaknesses and threats. This project will receive $5.9 million in funding. The Electric Power Institute (EPRI) will be a research and analysis resource for NESCO.
The eight companies being funded to address cyber-security solutions are the Grid Protection Alliance (secure information exchange); Honeywell International (architecture for control systems); Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories has two projects: a watchdog project for LAN and an anti-virus for control systems project; Siemens (energy automation development and demonstration of a security core component); Sypris Electronics (centralized cryptographic key management); and Telcordia Technologies (communication security).
The DOE also released the Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem report. Among other key findings the report says increasing data and communications sophistication of smart grid applications is driving integration and successful partnerships amongst a growing network of companies sharing the market. Also, $1.7 billion in venture capital has been invested into smart grid companies between 2007-2010 with the majority flowing into suppliers of AMI and home and building energy management products.