The eFORT project, which happens to be supported by Horizon Europe, began its operations in September 2022 with the objective of enhancing grid security throughout Europe and by focusing on both cyber as well as physical aspects.
The project, coordinated by the Fundacion CIRCE technology and research centre, strives to build up resilience and reliability against failures and cyberattacks, as well as physical disturbances. It aims on understanding threats as well as vulnerabilities while also creating a range of solutions.
There happen to be several solutions that are available to train future grid operators for the control room of the future, such as the use of an intelligent platform and also digital twins.
To enhance security as well as the privacy in grid data management, the execution of data confidentiality procedures and along with it the incorporation of blockchain layers are part of the project.
The project coordinator has gone on to report that in the first year, the consortium effectively discovered power and energy system assets as well as risks on both the cyber and physical layers.
Furthermore, the project partners have gone on to initiate a collaborative effort so as to avoid cascading failures.
In the coming months, the consortium partners plan to work on developing the final solutions that will be deployed in the field. This includes creating digital twins, establishing an intelligent platform, and developing algorithms and plans for safe grid operation modes.
The eFORT solutions will be tested and validated in 4 separate demonstrations across Europe. These runs are scheduled to begin in the first half of 2025. The purpose of these demonstrations is to ensure that the eFORT solutions can be applied effectively across different grid scenarios.
Cuerva Energia, one of the companies based in southern Spain, is currently spearheading a demonstration that focuses on the integration of IoT, blockchain, as well as cybersecurity within a substation and connected microgrid.
TenneT, from the Netherlands, is currently leading a demonstration on the avoidance of cascading failures and reconstruction of interconnected power systems at the Transmission System Operator- TSO level.
In the northern region of Italy, DP Selta happens to be leading a demonstration focused on flexibility and islanding in mountainous as well as remote areas.
The DSO JSC in Ukraine is at present conducting a demonstration on the digitalization and secure design of a substation.
The eFORT project, which lasted for 4 years and had a budget of US$9.9 million, was initiated in response to various challenges faced by the grid. These challenges included climate change, the switch to green energy, and hazards resulting from human activities.
The consortium consists of 23 members representing the energy industry, universities, research institutes, as well as consultancies from 9 different nations. and is scheduled to run until August 2026.