Schneider Electric in the SPEAR project


Schneider Electric, as leader in energy and automation digital solutions collaborates in the H2020 SPEAR project. Schneider Electric is focusing its contribution on one of the four use cases: “The Substation Scenario”. The objective of the use case is to validate the SPEAR platform in a realistic scenario based on an electrical substation.

Schneider Electric contributes to the use case with its substation devices. In particular, it provides its Remote Terminal Units (RTU). A remote terminal unit (RTU), controlled by a microprocessor, connects objects in the physical world to a distributed control system or SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) system by transmitting telemetry data to a master system, and by using messages from the master supervisory system to control connected objects. A variety of protocols are used to communicate with RTUs. An RTU is a critical asset in the control system because it provides relevant information to the control center and it operates directly in the substation.

Schneider Electric provides the SPEAR project with the Easergy T300 and Saitel RTUs. Easergy T300 provides remote control and monitoring for energy distribution automation. It is a modular platform of hardware and firmware, and an application building block for Medium Voltage and Low Voltage public distribution network management. Saitel is a high-performance, versatile, scalable and compact platform for secure automation and communication applications. Saitel acts as a communication gateway, measurement center and automation processor. Also, Schneider Electric provides the EcoStruxure™ Cybersecurity Admin Expert (CAE) tool for the RTU cybersecurity configuration has the capability to assign roles to user. A user with a role is then allocated permission to access or block resources of a system (for example permission to read or write device settings, download a new firmware version etc). The tool is suited to use within the Operational Technology (OT) environment as it authorizes the configuration of permissions of many different devices such as: network devices (switches, firewalls), personal computer and intelligent electronic devices/protection relays aligned with IEC 62351.


Figure: Schneider Electric Easergy T300

In the first phase of the project, Schneider Electric worked together with Enel and Tecnalia in the “Use Case Preparation, Architecture, Security & Privacy Requirements”; participating in the requirement and technical specification definition for the use case. In addition, Schneider Electric has been collaborating with the developers of SPEAR platform within the development work packages, giving support in those activities where the substation scenario will be used.

Schneider Electric is also working in the “Integration and Deployment” and “Pilots, Validation and Evaluation” phases of the project, contributing with new development of its substation components at cybersecurity level. In these phases Schneider Electric, in collaboration with Enel and Tecnalia has design and is deploying a representative architecture for the substation scenario based in critical assets of the substation, such as: SCADA, HMI, RTUs, CAE, SAM and IT devices (router, firewall and switches).

As a result of the collaboration in SPEAR project, Schneider Electric will enhance the cybersecurity of its substation components, testing the developments in a realistic scenario and validating the solution in collaboration with cybersecurity experts and end-users of the project.