Key Facts

Start date 2019-05-01 End date 2022-04-30
Title SDN – microgrid reSilient Electrical eNergy SystEm Acronym SDN-microSENSE
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Project Scope

SDN-microSENSE aims at providing and demonstrating a secure, resilient to cyber-attacks, privacy-enabled, and protected against data breaches solution for decentralised Electrical Power and Energy Systems (EPES). All designed, developed, and tested technologies should consider the latest related research findings and maintain high compliance with current industrial standards (e.g., IEC standards).


  • To design and provide a new resilient, multi-layered and SDN-enabled microgrid architecture, which will leverage the global system visibility for preventing and addressing disruptions to the underlying SCADA and ICS infrastructure.
  • To design and develop a risk assessment and management framework.
  • To develop and implement applications which exploit direct networking controllability and programmability offered by SDN to investigate multiple security applications, including self-healing attack-resilient PMU and RTU, for going toward achieving resilient and secure operations in the face of various cyberthreats and failures.
  • Deliver an energy trading platform for secure and flexible trading management.
  • To provide a robust, distributed and effective IT cyber-defense system for large-scale EPES ecosystem.
  • To design and deploy an anonymous channel of EPES which will allow secure and privacy-preserving information sharing among energy operators and actors.
  • To deliver a privacy-preserving framework for enhancing EPES against data breaches.
  • To design and develop a policy recommendation framework based on the SDN-microSENSE results, lessons learnt and best practices for formulating recommendations for standardisation and certification.
  • To design and demonstrate five large-scale pilots across Europe.


  1. A laboratory environment consisting of a realistic (if scaled-down to the kW range) power system together with a realistic, scaled-down control system architecture are employed to act as a test bed for examining the effectiveness of attack scenarios as well as effectiveness and efficacy of detection and mitigation mechanisms.
  2. EPES monitoring, protection and control systems leverage legacy SCADA measurement and control units such as RTUs and PMUs to gain real-time awareness of current grid operations and also provide real-time protection and control functions.
  3. It is quite important for the TSO (IPTO) to ensure that any anomaly or failure in the transmission system infrastructure will be immediately detected and addressed without any cascading implications such as a large-scale blackout. 
  4. A complete EPES infrastructure will be deployed, from the power plant to substations and microgrids, including an Operator Control Centre. The systems located at the Operator Control Centre and in the substations are the most critical and attack-attractive assets. Their protection from cyber-attacks is a primary and critical concern for utilities and equipment providers.
  5. ALKYONIS is the main energy supplier of the area of MOA; this means that in case of a failure, MOA will suffer from a wide area blackout. Further, the reconnection of power supply for 29,000 people of MOA will be delayed for days since the reconnection will be performed through the national grid and this takes long time, while a thorough set of measurements and configuration will be needed in prior.
  6. Many aspects still have to be investigated in the fields of power electronics, regarding the energy trading among PV microgrids, e.g., residential prosumers operating advanced solar panels, to make this association a reality. At the same time, the integrity and privacy of the decentralised decision-making processes have to be explored, especially when dealing with data gathered by smart meters since these data could be also used to invade consumers’ privacy.

Tools’ Scope

The SDN-microSENSE intends to provide an integrated platform, which will protect the modernised Electrical Power and Energy Systems (EPES). In particular, the business logic behind SDN-microSENSE is organised by four pillars: (a) risk assessment, (b) Intrusion detection and mitigation, (c) energy grid restoration and management and (d) privacy-preserving. The first pillar follows a collaborative risk assessment methodology, which is applied dynamically by the SDN-microSENSE Risk Assessment Framework (S-RAF), taking into account the relevant EPES standards. The second pillar detects and mitigates potential intrusions against EPES, taking full advantage of the Software-Defined Networking (SDN) technology and islanding mechanisms. The third pillar aims to assist in restoring the electrical grid after the successful treatment of the cyberattacks. Finally, the last pillar deals with the privacy of the involved EPES entities, employing homomorphic encryption.