State commissions can select from a toolkit of regulatory approaches to promote desired utility cybersecurity behavior. One approach is to allow the industry to selfregulate, and another approach is to leave the job to the federal government. But sofar, neither the industry nor the federal government have developed and implemented adequate standards for securing the smart grid. States can play a constructive role—albeit perhaps not in the form of traditional regulation.
Nancy Brockway is the principal of independent consultancy NBrockway & Associates. Previously she was a commissioner with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, and served on commission staffs in Massachusetts and Maine before that. Brockway acknowledges the insightful help of Alison Silverstein, but retains sole responsibility for errors and opinions.
The regulator’s role in promoting cybersecurity for the smart grid.
Did FERC Jump the Gun?
In an October order, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) trimmed the authorized rate incentive for the RITELine transmission project by one-third. The action prompted Commissioner Moeller to ask whether the commission is retreating from its incentive policy on needed transmission lines.