Working with electric-co-ops, NRECA is developing Essence to provide “situational awareness” for both the electrical and the cyber-front of the grid said NRECA’s chief scientist, Craig Miller. Testing with co-ops, Essence has prevented cyberattacks, transformer overloading and even possible fires. Co-ops face these threats every day, defending against cyberattacks, along with staying solvent as a business. “Essence 2.0 monitors for cyberthreats and provides data points to network administrators and system operators to isolate incidents and defend the system. Using an algorithm that sets a “normal” state for a computer network, Essence evaluates the system continually for anything unusual. When an anomaly is detected, an alarm is raised. It will enable the utility industry to share characteristics of an incident to help detect larger coordinated cyberattacks.” Cathy Cash, Staff Writer NRECA “By deploying to cooperatives, we use real utility data and bring the knowledge and capabilities gained through the DARPA test range experience into the real world,” said Doug Lambert, NRECA’s senior principal for grid solutions. Essence will go through final DARPA testing in October. The National Guard will participate alongside NRECA, employing Essence to locate cyber-threats. Lambert will guide the exercise remotely from Wake EMC, in Wake Forest, NC.