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industries, it allows companies through what is known as a “pen test” to system- atically try to defeat internal security controls and procedures to pinpoint any weaknesses. “We give penetration testers an


advantage by moving them inside our net- work to see how far they get. Sometimes we tell our people the tests will take place, but often we don’t tell them. We want to see if our processes help them detect abnormal activity and report it,” says Engels, who does not share any improve- ments Dominion has made as a result. Micro-grid technology also promises


enhanced grid reliability, according to Jason Nichols, director of Scitor Corp.’s iSpace lab. Scitor is part of McLean- based defense contractor SAIC. Some military bases in Virginia already deploy micro-grids. Dominion also is funding micro-grid demonstration projects using renewable fuels at several state universities. “If a portion of Virginia’s public grid


goes down, a micro-grid gives the mili- tary base the potential to provide local generation to keep hospitals and other critical services running in some sort of degraded state,” Nichols says. The Navy announced a step to


improve energy security last month with a plan to partner with Dominion Virginia Power to build a 21-megawatt solar facility at Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, the Navy’s East Coast master jet base.


Thinking the unthinkable Virginia this year joined a growing


list of states prepping for emergencies caused by electromagnetic pulses, or EMP. The phenomenon can occur naturally, such as with extremely intense lightning flashes or as fallout from a “dirty” nuclear bomb detonated at high altitude. Scientists claim EMP is capable of


crippling the grid indefinitely. Here’s the nightmare scene: high-energy radiation knocks Earth’s magnetic field way out of whack. Then, surging electromagnetic waves are propelled through transmis- sion lines with enough force to turn transformers into infernos. After studying the matter for more


than a decade, Congress in 2015 passed the Critical Infrastructure Protection


Act, directing DHS to add EMP plan- ning to emergency drills. The Virginia General Assembly passed a similar bill this year that ropes Virginia utilities more closely into readiness planning with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. Its sponsor, state Sen. Bryce Reeves (R-Spotsylvania County), said Virginia can’t afford to take chances. “I know it sounds like I have tinfoil


on my head, but the threats surrounding us (in America) are more dangerous to the grid than anything we’ve ever seen.


We have to keep up, yet do it in a way that doesn’t put unreasonable mandates on our private energy companies,” says Reeves, who is a candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor in 2017. Indeed, EMP sounds like a plotline


worthy of the late sci-fi legend Arthur C. Clarke. Weather-related power loss, like that which darkened much of Richmond recently, still seems far more likely. Yet as the menaces multiply, Virginia’s energy sector knows it must heed every credible warning to keep the lights on.


A Culture of Innovation for the Challenges of Tomorrow.


T


here’s a brand new world on the horizon. Outdated practices and ideas no longer meet the challenges of today… or tomorrow.


Varney Inc is a full service solution provider for your industrial, electrical, integrated systems, mechanical and plumbing needs. We combine revolutionary thinking with rock solid expertise.


New generation technologies must be planned, implemented and managed to optimize return on investment. Varney addresses every phase of the implementation cycle, including design, build, own, operate, and maintain.


Innovation Expertise


Unmatched Value


For over sixty years Varney has been delivering innovative, professional services with unmatched value. Our culture of innovation begins with transparency, project collaboration, customer empowerment and mutual trust. The product of this culture: our reputation for developing effective business partnerships with equipment and installation practices that are considered the fi nest in the industry.


PO Box 7266 • Roanoke, VA 24019 Ph: 540.343.0155 • Fax: 540.343.3118 VA DCJS: #11-4230 www.varneyinc.com


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