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Is the Marriage of EMS/DMS Curse or Convenience

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October 2016 | by Michael H. Schrameyer

Under the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) version 5/6, a transmission energy management system (EMS or TMS) is typically categorized as a high-impact bulk electric system (BES) cyber system. A distribution management system (DMS) is not. However in many utilities the DMS is combined with the EMS. In this case, depending on the functions and type of connection between the systems, the DMS and associated human machine interface (HMI) may fall under NERC CIP v5/6 compliance requirements. The additional cost to make the DMS ecosystems compliant, in addition to the EMS, can be very expensive. How did utilities get into this situation? What option do they have to mitigate the additional expense?

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