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Mitigating Risk in Electric Utility Substations

Our Mission

To serve the electric power industry through the design, manufacture, supply, and support of products intended for the protection of substation equipment at the perimeter fence line. On average, a substation perimeter fence currently in the United States is 40 years old. Coupled with the fact that existing substation fences, by design, do little to nothing to prevent animals or people from gaining access, it is clear that it is time to change the way electric utilities view substation fences. “We still deliver power today much like we did a century ago, but there’s technology now that can help utilities reduce power outages,” said Doug Esamann, President of Duke Energy Indiana.

 

VANQUISH™ Deterrent Systems are a proactive approach in the fight to limit uncontrolled access to substations, and thereby prevent unnecessary interference with electrical equipment and the potential for power outages.

VANQUISH Animal Guard

Fifteen years ago, VANQUISH Fencing Incorporated stepped into the electric utility reliability business with its now PATENTED Animal Deterrent System. They began with a focus statement:

It’s time to upgrade aging infrastructure with a proven front-line defense that inhibits snakes, raccoons, squirrels, and other small crawling animals from gaining access. It will prevent small crawling animals from digging under the fence line, penetrating through the fabric, manipulating corners, and, most importantly, from climbing over the top.

Electric utilities spend millions of dollars a year repairing damage caused by animals that have entered the substation and made contact with the high-dollar electrical equipment. In most cases, the animal does not survive the encounter; the resulting outage caused by the incident could be experienced by thousands of customers, possibly for an extended period.

VANQUISH Security Guard

When the utility industry started to experience an increase in copper theft and the subsequent equipment damage from unauthorized intruders into the substation, VANQUISH Fencing Incorporated responded with the option of installing security fabric onto its deterrent systems. Installation of security fabric in place of standard chain-link fabric, and in some cases in conjunction with chain-link fabric, creates a security barrier that is formidable – both difficult to climb and difficult to penetrate. It takes anywhere from 52 to 72 or more tedious individual cuts using special tools to make a hole in the material big enough for the average individual to pass through. In most cases, this results in deterrence, causing delay, detection, and apprehension of the intruder. When used in conjunction with motion detectors or video surveillance tools the number of false alarms is greatly reduced. In most cases, the VANQUISH’s Security Guard System can pay for itself with one prevented break in attempt.

VANQUISH CIP Security Guard

As part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order on Reliability Standards for Physical Security Measures under Docket No. RD14-6-000 issued March 7, 2014, the Commission directed “The North American Electric Reliability Corporation, as the commission-certified Electric Reliability Organization, to submit for approval one or more reliability standards that will require certain registered entities to take steps or demonstrate that they have taken steps to address physical security risks and vulnerabilities related to the reliable operation of the bulk-power system.” This order stated: “Physical attacks to the bulk-power system can adversely impact the reliable operation of the bulk-power system, resulting in instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading failures.” As a result, utilities will be required to identify and protect transmission substations and their associated primary control centers that if rendered inoperable or damaged because of a physical attack could result in widespread instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading with in an interconnection.

VANQUISH Fencing Incorporated has responded to the requirement of developing a Physical Security Plan that contains security measures designed to deter, detect, and delay by designing and engineering its offering of products to meet those stipulations. VANQUISH has also given consideration to aligning the threat with the appropriate solution, while avoiding the tendency to either overspend or implement a solution that comes with a recurring operation and maintenance cost that may not realistically be sustainable. There is no one size fits all solution; therefore, VANQUISH’s team is prepared to offer an array of options to meet the significance of what you are protecting.

VANQUISH Fencing Systems