High tension power lines run between towers in front of a mountain landscape.

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BC Hydro Taking Precautions in the Wake of US Attacks

Learning from our southern neighbours could help keep the lights on this winter

Attempts to take out US infrastructure has BC Hydro’s guard up

In the US, there has been a surge of attacks on electrical grids.

Extremists, vandals and cyber criminals are targeting the nation’s critical infrastructure. It’s becoming a real problem.

Most recently, Washington was hit on Christmas Day, and over 101 targeted attacks were recorded in the nation just between January and August of last year.

Richard Glick is the chair of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “Is there something more sinister going on?” he asked Politico reporters last week. “Are there people planning this?… I don’t think anyone knows that right now. But there’s no doubt that the numbers are up in terms of reported incidents.”

Every time a piece of infrastructure is attacked, thousands of people have been left without power.

Thankfully, here in Canada we haven’t seen the same trends.

However, BC Hydro has taken the chance to learn what they can from what’s happening with our neighbours to the south.

“Anytime we see something like this happen in another jurisdiction, we use it as an opportunity to make sure we are doing everything we can to protect our assets here in BC,” they wrote in a statement to Blackpress Media.

They stated they have increased security patrols around power plants and communication between Canadian and US utilities and law enforcement agencies.

They didn’t go into specifics for security reasons. But did say they were taking other measures to help keep power grids protected.

That’s good, because the NorthIsle’s power grid does a fine job of going down all on its own.

Energy consumption reached all-time highs in BC in the last month.

“The extreme cold has British Columbians turning up the heat, and as a result, we are experiencing record-breaking electricity demand,” spokesperson Susie Rieder wrote.

Stable electricity is clearly a higher priority than ever.

Taking advantage of the knowledge being learned in the US could save us from having to learn it the hard way.