The Clean Energy Cybersecurity AcceleratorTM (CECA) is now accepting applications from cybersecurity solution providers that offer strong authentication for distributed energy resources to protect the modern electrical grid and expedite bringing tested solutions to market.
Designed to bolster innovative cybersecurity technologies, CECA identifies the most urgent security gaps and supports innovative solution providers who can develop early-stage answers. Building security into new technologies at the earliest stage—when security is most effective and most efficient—is too often considered a barrier that impedes the time to market. The CECA program is designed to facilitate the development of new technologies that utilities can employ, while identifying and solving the most urgent security gaps in modern energy systems. This initiative is managed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), and it is sponsored by DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER) and utility industry partners in collaboration with the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).
"We look forward to the application period and the first cohort of cyber solution providers through the Clean Energy Cybersecurity Accelerator,” CESER Director Puesh Kumar said. “With world-class capabilities at NREL, technology innovators will have a platform to develop and deploy renewable, cost-effective, and secure grid technologies with a pathway to technical validation and demonstration. The program brings together federal capabilities and expertise, energy sector asset owners, and technology innovators to develop and deploy modern grid technologies that are not only cost-competitive but also demonstrate the highest level of security by design.”
“If we are to be successful in the deployment of clean energy technologies at scale, we must also ensure that our energy systems are secure and resilient to disruption,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Kelly Speakes-Backman. “Through this testing platform, solutions providers will have the opportunity to test and validate technologies against the highest priority cyber threat scenarios, aiding in our efforts to outpace the speed of emerging threats to our evolving energy infrastructure.”
A key feature of CECA is partnerships with utilities. These partnerships provide destinations for the innovative technologies tested and outlets that will immediately benefit from their new technologies. Not only will the utilities receive connections to a pipeline of innovative cybersecurity technologies, they also will benefit from access to NREL's unique testing and evaluation capabilities, including its Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems (ARIES) cyber range, developed with support from EERE. The ARIES cyber range provides one of the most advanced simulation environments with unparalleled real-time situational awareness and visualization to evaluate renewable energy system defenses. Utilities will also receive shared insights on the latest cyber challenges, best practices, trends, and the ability to understand cyber technology solutions.
For the first cohort cycle, CECA is seeking applicants that offer strong authentication solutions for distributed energy resources. Solution providers will take part in a three-to-12-month incubation period, sharing ideas and threat intelligence before validating solutions in the lab.
CECA will select up to five participants in the first cohort, with the application portal now open as of June 6, 2022, and closing on July 6, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. MT. Participants must be based in the United States and offer innovations around the cybersecurity topic priority. Learn more about the application process by visiting the CECA web page.