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In the wake of an apparent string of sabotage incidents at electrical substations across the country, local utility company Met-Ed shared its readiness measures for potential power grid attacks with LebTown.
This type of threat isn’t as improbable for the Lebanon Valley as one might like. According to a leaked FBI memo, a consumer drone with a heavy copper wire trailing underneath was found in 2020 near a Hershey substation in what may have been an attempted attack.
Met-Ed is one of several companies operated by First Energy in Pennsylvania, serving over 60,000 customers in Lebanon County.
“Protecting the energy grid and providing our customers with reliable power is a top priority for FirstEnergy,” said Met-Ed spokesperson Will Boye.
Boye said that real-time monitoring is in place to identify physical or digital threats to the grid.
“A wide variety of surveillance, deterrence, physical and technology measures are in place, and we continually invest to ensure our protective measures are robust,” said Boye.
Boye said that the utility company drills throughout the year to ensure it is prepared should a threat materialize. Last month, FirstEnergy participated in regional transmission organization PJM’s grid security drill, a “a system-wide exercise to assess the readiness of incident response in the event of operations disruptions as a result of a physical and cyber events.”
Public help is a big part of keeping the grid safe.
“If anyone sees something suspicious at or near a substation or other piece of infrastructure, they should contact local law enforcement,” said Boye.
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