PJM Participates in North American Grid Security Drill

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PJM joined more than 250 electricity industry organizations across North America Nov. 14–15 to test its response and recovery plans in the face of simulated cyber and physical attacks on critical infrastructure across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Hosted every other year by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Electricity Information Sharing and Analysis Center (E-ISAC), GridEx is the largest grid security exercise in North America. E-ISAC is the primary security communications channel for the electric industry and works with the industry to enhance preparation and response to security threats.

The drill brings together thousands of participants from grid operators like PJM, utilities and government agencies.

PJM’s participants in the 2023 GridEx drill.

Within the PJM footprint, more than 40 organizations, including 24 state agencies, participated in GridEx VII. The exercise involved nearly 200 personnel from teams across PJM, including the control room; physical security; cybersecurity; information technology; operations; legal; and corporate, government and member communications.

Over the two days, the teams responded to 70 simulated events, 52 of which directly affected the bulk electric system and required PJM’s coordinated response.

“GridEx is invaluable in enabling us to test our response and recovery ability in scenarios we have never encountered, and ones that require coordination within and outside of our region,” said Mike Bryson, Sr. Vice President of Operations. “Our No. 1 job is keeping the power flowing, and the lessons learned from this simulation are critical in improving our ability to do that, under any circumstances.”

PJM has participated in GridEx since its inception in 2011.