in association with

Catherine Laug, Head of Marketing at LOCKEN Electricity transmission/distribution, Energy networks, Generation, Solar, Strategy & management, Water, Wind, Market insight

Utilities, including water and energy supply, require an extensive and diverse set of infrastructures. Access control in these industries must therefore address the many security challenges and potential inherent risks. Scattered sites, such as electrical substations, electric power plants, wind turbines, solar farms and hydraulic stations are particularly hazardous.

LOCKEN has provided solutions to the largest organisations in this industry since 2003, including the renewable energy sector, with tens of thousands of access points installed.

Isolated, scattered facilities are exposed to harsh weather conditions

The utility sectors cover a wide range of facilities, often forming a linear structure over hundreds of miles, or scattered over vast areas, such as wind farms. They are usually located in rural areas with extreme weather conditions.

LOCKEN’s electronic access control solution includes cylinders and keys that have been designed for challenging environments, such as mountainous or coastal areas. Cylinders have the IP 66-67-68-69 rating and high levels of protection against water ingress and foreign bodies. The latest-generation electronic keys use induction technology to enable contactless information to be exchanged between the key and cylinder. This technology allows the electronic key to transmit access rights to the cylinder, even in the case of salt, pollution, dust blockages or a rust caused by humidity.

Security risk

Energy and water sites represent a significant target for large-scale attacks, with the impact of vandalism having the potential to compromise the country’s critical infrastructure. The LOCKEN access control solution plays a major role in mitigating the risk of attacks.

The electronic key only opens the cylinder when configured with the necessary access rights. These may be granted in real time with the Bluetooth module present in the latest-generation keys, by communicating with the MyLocken app via an advanced AES128 encryption protocol. Any openings or attempted break-ins are logged in the electronic key’s memory and sent to the Locken Smart Access (LSA) management software.

Health and safety procedures

At many utility sites, access to certain areas is restricted to qualified and approved staff or contractors. This is the case at electrical substations where the most sensitive areas are off-limits, except to officers with the necessary authorisation. As for wind turbines, staff must be qualified to work at specific heights to reach the highest parts of the turbine.

LOCKEN’s advanced access control solution helps Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) to comply with Electricity Safety, Quality and Continuity Regulations (ESQCR).

Connected access control

With a Bluetooth module, which links to the user’s smartphone, using the MyLocken app, this solution is capable of offering centralised control and case-by-case, real-time access control, reaching standards of security that are usually only available from online access control systems and significantly boosts compliance with the industry’s applicable security standards.

Utility customers

We work with a number of utility companies to protect their infrastructures with advanced access management, including; Veolia, managing 2,257 drinking water sites and 1,932 wastewater treatment plants; Scottish Power Energy Networks, securing 17,000 sites and 23,000 access points, used by more than 1,000 officers; and EDF subsidiary Enedis, with the group choosing the LOCKEN solution for its substations across half the national grid and upgrading to our second-generation electronic keys at 1,100 sites.

For further information about LOCKEN’s access control systems in the energy sector, visit https://www.locken.eu/multi-site-access-control/access-control-systems-energy-sector/, find us on LinkedIn or telephone 0203 691 1610.

 

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