Utilities Board Special Session 2 p.m. Today




The Board of Public Utilities meets at 2  p.m. today in Council Chambers to approve an amendment to the agreement with AESI-US for $246,000 to develop an Internal North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Reliability Compliance Program to meet the Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) Version 5 requirements and provide additional training and support in preparing compliance evidence.

NERC is the regulatory authority with jurisdiction for electric production and transmission systems that are part of the Los Alamos Power Pool (LAPP).  New regulations governing critical infrastructure protection (CIP) have been implemented and require facilities operated by the LAPP to comply with the new regulations by April of 2016 or face regulatory action.

A third-party was hired to perform a gap analysis on LAPP’s infrastructure and administrative practices and make recommendations on what is needed to meet the upcoming regulations related to cyber security titled CIP 5. The operating committee for LAPP agreed to divide up the tasks necessary to meet the new compliance standards.


Based on the gap analysis finding, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) took the lead with upgrading the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system software and hardware, since the County owns the equipment. DPU also took the lead with the development of policies and procedures to be reviewed and approved by LAPP representatives.  


Since the primary control center and the transmission sub stations are located on Los Alamos National Laboratory property, LANL personnel were tasked with developing the asset inventory and implementing the physical security upgrades. DPU will assist LANL’s contractor with the physical security upgrades on the back-up control center located at Pajarito Cliffs Building 5.


In the process of developing the policies and procedures, County and LANL management determined we needed additional support from the AESI to train personnel and prepare evidence of compliance prior to the April 1, 2016 deadline. There are 10 CIP policies and each policy has on average three procedures. The County plays a significant role on a daily basis as the owner of the SCADA system and operators of the power operations center. The County will be responsible for making sure all the documentation (compliance evidence) is assembled and reported at the specified intervals.

Contractor shall provide additional onsite training as follows:

  • Assist County in the configuration and customization of Tripwire software to produce the necessary reports to meet the evidence requirements of NERC CIP compliance by April 1, 2016;
  • Assist County in the creation of Day One Evidence by April 1, 2016; and
  • Assist County in the development of reports and collection of evidence needed to meet all of the NERC CIP requirements by April 1, 2016.


All work to fulfill the above services will be performed onsite in Los Alamos.


DPU has been in the process of hiring a second SCADA technician to help meet the current system wide SCADA demands and the increasing demands associated with Power Supply. The new SCADA employee will be the primary person responsible for NERC compliance requirements.  Training will begin late January 2016 and will continue through March 2016. DPU’s current SCADA technician will also attend all the training sessions unless there is a pressing need in operations.


This contract amendment has been approved by the two voting members of the Los Alamos Power Pool Operating Committee. As a pool expense the cost will be split approximately 80/20 between LANL and DPU.


Today’s meeting in the Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave., is open to the public.