Utilities in the United States
The United States’ power generation and transmission system is comprised of three interconnected grids consisting of a wide variety of participants including independent producers, utilities, cooperatives, suppliers and agencies with countless assets serving hundreds of millions of users. According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), approximately “4,127 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity were generated at utility-scale electricity generation facilities in the United States.” Each of these entities carry responsibility for safeguarding the vast array of assets and manage risks.
Protection of Critical Infrastructure
Security threats against the grid system can have devastating consequences to community welfare and various economies. Due to the increasing hazards, the National Infrastructure Protection Plan (NIPP) was developed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to manage risk, resiliency and security in critical infrastructures across a number of sectors. Utility security is an integration of national security to reduce vulnerability, deter threats, and minimize the consequences of attacks and other incidents.
Physical Security Standards
One particular risk for prevention is physical attack on critical assets. Following a 2013 shooting attack that disabled and/or destroyed numerous electrical transformers that supply power to Silicon Valley, the CIP-014 standard was issued by NERC. The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) is a not-for-profit international regulatory authority whose mission is to assure the effective and efficient reduction of risks to the reliability and security of the grid. The standard’s purpose is to identify and protect transmission stations and transmission substations, that if rendered inoperable or damaged as a result of a physical attack could result in widespread instability, uncontrolled separation, or cascading within an Interconnection. Success of critical infrastructure protection (CIP) initiatives relies on robust and significant partnerships built between utilities, agencies, and suppliers. AZZ developed a flexible and robust design that provides a superior alternative to concrete buildings.
AZZ’s ArmArrest™ with ballistic resisting technologies
To defend against physical attack where the grid is vulnerable to disruption, AZZ introduced ArmArrest™ with multiple design options for various applications including data centers, power distribution centers, control centers, and transmission stations. The standard ArmArrest™ design materials meet the UL-752 level 4 rating used to form bullet-resisting barriers which protect against armed attack but can be customized to meet level 8 ratings. These standard materials include bullet-resistant steel door with forced entry resistant hinges, completely welded ballistic barriers from grade to roof, and corrosion resistance throughout the paintable surfaces. ArmArrest™ also includes robust steel framing systems and proprietary solutions for exposed areas such as HVAC. As always, AZZ’s ArmArrest™ enclosures come factory assembled, wired and pre-tested to minimize on-site assembly and associated delays. Now is the time to modernize and protect your critical infrastructure with the strength, resistance, and efficiency of ArmArrest™.
AZZ Enclosure Systems – Faster to Site, Stronger to Protect
As one of the largest and most experienced specialty enclosure manufacturers in North America, AZZ Enclosure Systems is ready to serve your specific needs. From the harshest environments to the most unique applications, our quality and custom-engineered enclosure systems keep equipment at peak performance and extend operating life. Find out more about our engineered enclosure solutions at azz.com/Enclosures or follow us on LinkedIn.
 United States Energy Information Administration – EIA. Retrieved from eia.gov/tools
 Department of Homeland Security. National Infrastructure Protection Plan. Retrieved from dhs.gov/xlibrary
 The North American Electric Reliability Corporation. Retrieved from nerc.com/aboutnerc