NERC CIP Compliance for Wind Energy Sites

NERC CIP Compliance for Wind Energy Sites

Historically, remote power generation and transmission facilities were secured by a chain-link fence and padlock. Today, these facilities require a high-tech approach.

The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) requirements are very specific for any infrastructure security system. Compliance with these requirements improve facility safety, security, and even operations.


The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) required the NERC to develop a series of CIP standards that provide a benchmark for physical security systems surrounding critical infrastructure.

Reliability Standard CIP-14-1 – Physical Security, rolled out in November 2014, is the physical security protection standard for electrical utilities and bulk power providers.

The NERC lays out six actions—Deter, Detect, Delay, Assess, Communicate, and Respond—in a “systems approach” to physical security.

While the plan is required by the NERC, there are additional company benefits that include improved business continuity and brand protection.

To be able to implement the six security actions, there are six preparation requirements referred to as Requirements R1-R6. Applicable Transmission Owners must:

  1. Perform risk assessments.
  2. Have an unaffiliated third party review the risk assessment.
  3. Notify Operators of their risk identification.
  4. Conduct an evaluation of potential threats and vulnerabilities.
  5. Develop and implement a physical security plan.
  6. Have the evaluation and plans reviewed by an unaffiliated third party.

See the full R1-R6 Requirements here.

Implementation Timeline

October 1, 2015 – Entities must comply with Requirement R1.

December 30, 2015 – Entities must have completed specific portions of Requirement R2.

March 6, 2016 – Entities must have completed Requirement R3.

June 27, 2016 – Entities must have completed Requirements R4 and R5.

September 25, 2016 – Entities must have completed specific portions of Requirement R6.

November 24, 2016 – Entities must have completed specific portions of Requirement R6.

October 1, 2017 – Entities must address control center issues with an informational filing.

Technology Solutions

Electronic security systems commonly used at remote facilities to Deter, Detect, Delay, Assess, Communicate, and Respond include:

  • Fence detection systems
  • Video surveillance cameras
  • Video analytics
  • Outdoor motion detection
  • Voice communication
  • Data connectivity


National critical infrastructure security, under the guidance of NERC CIP, is difficult to navigate. A working knowledge of the NERC CIP requirements, in addition to a mastery of the current—and future—security technologies, is critical to the design and deployment of a strategic security solution.

NERC CIP Compliance for Wind Energy Sites

Blackhawk Datacom is uniquely positioned as a critical infrastructure security and data communications expert. We can assist your team through the entire NERC CIP compliance process. Our staff will provide security best practices insight specific to remote critical infrastructure facilities.

BlackHawk’s Communications, Physical Security, and Process Automation products are specifically designed for operations in remote and harsh environments. We focus on operators in the critical infrastructure industries that provide services to millions of customers who can’t afford loss of service or down time.  We support these operations with highly trained personnel from Regional Operations Centers located in Port Fourchon, LA, Houston, TX, San Antonio, TX, Midland, TX and our 24×7 hardened Incident Command Center located in Lafayette, LA.