Energy Cast podcast: Protecting power and grid from cyber enemies

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Energy Cast is a regular podcast featuring some of the top experts across all links in the industry chain. Those include coal, nuclear, efficiency, renewables, oil and gas, as well as top government researchers. Longtime project manager Jay Dauenhauer created it and has been hosting Energy Cast for several years.

In some skeptics’ eyes quite a few years ago, the fear of cyber attacks on the nation’s grid and power plants was remote and really considered more alarmism through a true fire danger.

Hardly anyone rational would think that now. The Russian hack on the Ukraine power plant in 2015 got the world’s attention. Every year, utilities are increasing their capital spend on protecting their assets from bad actors.

Energy Cast podcast host Jay Dauenhauer recently chatted with Michael Toecker, senior engineering consultant for the RADICS program at Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

Listen to more Energy Cast podcasts here.

“The RADICS scenario imagines a pretty long period where there is no electric power, and as part of that, are we going to have Internet access?” he asks.  “If we presuppose all of these things, we basically need to take everyone back to the Stone Age and build it back up again.”

To simulate an attack like this, the DARPA team have taken over part of New York’s Plum Island.  The island itself is a bit of a mystery to the public, in large part to the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, which tests live viruses.  In 2008, an unidentifiable animal washed ashore across from Plum Island, and was quickly christened the Montauk Monster.

Click here to see Jay’s podcast with Michael Toecker of DARPA:


Dauenhauer himself was previously executive director of the Clean Coal Technology Association in Texas. He also has worked as project director in power generation and transmission as well as a media analyst for TXU Energy prior to the $45 billion leveraged buyout of that company in 2007. A Louisiana native and proud graduate of Louisiana State University, his career began as a TV news producer before transitioning into the energy sector. Back behind the mic, Dauenhauer hopes to bring his experience working across several energy sectors to you in a program designed to be accessible to both the public and industry insiders. Dauenhauer also is a member of the POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH International advisory committees. Clarion Energy is the parent company of Power Engineering, POWERGEN, DISTRIBUTECH.


Energy Cast Podcast is hosted biweekly by Jay Dauenhauer. Learn more about the podcast here.

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Jay Dauenhauer is a project manager based in Charlotte, NC. He currently serves as a PM developing transmission projects. For the past 7 years, Jay led water treatment and recycling projects for Oil & Gas operations. Jay's first foray in the energy sector was as a media analyst for TXU Energy during the $45B leveraged buyout of that utility in 2007. He then served as Executive Director of the Clean Coal Technology Foundation of Texas, working with stakeholders to pass clean energy legislation for the state. A Louisiana native and proud graduate of LSU, his career began as a TV news producer before transitioning into the energy sector. Back behind the mic, Jay hopes to bring his experience working across several energy sectors to you in a program designed to be accessible to both the public and industry insiders.

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