InsideIQ™ Building Automation Alliance Member Improves Security At West Texas Electric Cooperative’s
Control Technologies Secures Substations, Other Facilities Located across 6,600 Square Miles
LUBBOCK, Texas. — January 20, 2016 — Control Technologies has installed video monitoring and access control to enhance security at 32 remote substations and other sites across west Texas for the South Plains Electric Cooperative (SPEC), a fast-growing regional electric cooperative. Based in Lubbock, Control Technologies is the largest independent building management systems supplier in West Texas and a member of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance, an international alliance of independent building automation contractors.
SPEC decided to take proactive steps to upgrade security because electric utilities are under increasing regulatory pressure to increase their physical security in order to reduce vulnerability to physical attacks and threats. SPEC turned to Control Technologies for a solution to better secure its 32 substations, seven offices and a radio communications tower site located across 6,600 square miles of Texas.
“We recommended an enterprise-grade, open platform security system that would unify all of SPEC's physical security requirements, including video surveillance and access control, as well as manage potential alarms triggered by their perimeter intrusion system,” said Scott Cheatham, security executive of Control Technologies. “We performed a thorough critical infrastructure protection (CIP-014-1 and CIP V5) regulatory compliance assessment, evaluated different manufacturers, and advised SPEC on the best option for their specific circumstances. Only when that was finished did we install and complete the systems integration.”
"SPEC’s extensive coverage area includes more than 52,000 electric meters throughout West Texas, but until recently, we only had a very basic analog VMS system and access to our substations was still key-based,” said SPEC's network and systems administrator Tim Warren. “We needed a new security system to provide visual feedback of all our facilities at any time and let us know who has accessed what area and when. Now, we are now able to monitor more than 190 cameras and over 200 access control-enabled doors from either our central operations center in Lubbock or from mobile devices."
“Customers in a range of industries rely on the advice of their local InsideIQ member firm because our members are independent and manufacturer neutral,” said Leroy Walden, president of the InsideIQ Building Automation Alliance and vice president - automation and control solutions for Atlanta-based McKenney’s Inc.
“This means an InsideIQ firm will listen to the customer, evaluate the technologies that are available and recommend the product that will best meet the customer’s exact needs.”
As part of the security revamp, Control Technologies also installed a state-of-the-art fiber optic perimeter intrusion system to secure all SPEC’s substations. Using video analytics on the edge, should an alarm be triggered by the intrusion system, the substations’ pan-tilt-zoom cameras will rapidly move to focus on and track the person creating the breach. System operators are then able to immediately see the critical video and access control data from that location.
SPEC appreciates the versatility of the system installed by Control Technologies because it enables the cooperative to apply different techniques to secure various locations. "Across all of our offices, where we don't need a fiber optic perimeter intrusion system, we have it set up so that the cameras themselves will automatically detect movement and track only large objects, such as a truck arriving or someone walking across the yard. No other system we evaluated could do that in such an integrated manner," said Warren.
As SPEC continues to upgrade its security infrastructure and more cameras are being deployed, the software will allow the cooperative to quickly and easily bring new substations into the system. Control Technology will continue as a trusted adviser assisting with the expanding integration.