Drivers on the East Coast remember severe gas shortages and resulting price hikes in May 2021 when Colonial Pipeline, distributor for 45% of East Coast fuel, was taken offline in a ransomware attack. Just because Solar is part of the renewable energy sector, is it really safe from such disruptions? As installations become more digitized, they become increasingly internet-linked to the grid and other applications. So, like many industries relying on the web for effective operations, solar is now vulnerable to cyberattacks. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, hackers routinely try to hijack utility companies. The most recent successful attack was In March 2019, when intruders broke through one provider’s internet portal firewall and caused a 10-hour service disruption. When the attacks are successful in other sectors, we see similar disruptions of epic proportions. We don’t know how often local utility companies upgrade their grid security, so it’s realistic to expect system shutdowns, uneven performance, and financial loss. Extensive grid paralysis and devastating fires could also result from security breaches, as the tragedy of global warming continues.
PROTECTION FROM HACKERS
Ideally, more property owners will gain energy independence to further decentralize the grid. This reshaping of the electric power flows could create a less vulnerable PV universe, since the stand-alone systems will be numerous and not so internet-dependent. But even if your power source is not grid-dependent, cyber security precautions are a good idea, because any number of system applications and data can be vulnerable.
Currently, most residential and small business systems are grid-tied, and security measures of the grid operators are not always updated in a timely manner. As a result, the new normal for these semi-autonomous solar systems is a security software to prevent hacking. Using defense depth actions, system parts manufacturers can embed antivirus software inside inverters and battery controllers. Another layer of protection is provided by solar system installers placing antivirus software directly on the server and firewall that link your system to the utility company. Owners routinely changing passwords and restricting physical access to their solar systems are further defensive measures to shelter a solar system from harm.
Above all, the inverter’s internet connection needs to be well-secured and monitored. SolarEdge, the veteran inverter manufacturer employs rigorous safety measures, using Karamba’s XGuard s software. Their security initiative is highlighted by SolarPowerWorldOnline:
As a global PV inverter manufacturer, with more than 1.25 million connected sites and more than 14 GW of PV systems worldwide, SolarEdge places critical importance on protecting its connected inverters against cyberattacks to safeguard customer security and privacy.… Once embedded in SolarEdge’s products, XGuard software continuously and automatically conducts runtime integrity checks. If XGuard software detects a deviation from factory settings (i.e. a hacking attempt), it will prevent and report the deviation to the SolarEdge management cloud.
“With the energy network being a potential target for cyberattacks, SolarEdge is taking a proactive approach to upholding the integrity of the solar industry by setting a new benchmark for its cybersecurity,” said Meir Adest, SolarEdge’s chief information officer and founder.
The advanced, reliable, and affordable SolarEdge products have proven foundational to many long-lasting home and small business systems. Tesla, Enphase, SMA, and other inverter manufacturers now follow SolarEdge’s initiative.
GREATER SOLAR SECURITY THROUGH SOLARUNION
Should you need a solar power system, or a secure inverter upgrade, SolarUnion’s unique approach to power protection is to directly partner with local consumers to provide optimal home systems having extended warranties that safeguard reliability and save money. We are not just on the phone with customers. Just as important to the partnership is the fact that SolarUnion provides triple warranties (for parts, labor, and performance), which run longer than other outfits. In addition to our comprehensive solar, inverter, and battery backup solution services and installations, we offer solar readiness audits (including roof inspections); repair and maintenance services; and electrical panel upgrades. From HOA solar to community solar, we are experts on all types of roofs and are also experienced in ground-mounted solar panels.
Through years of such effective partnership with the community, SolarUnion’s service is now Diamond Certified, which is the highest independent consumer rating in the industry.
THE SOONER YOU SAVE, THE MORE YOU SAVE
You’ll have backup and income savings while helping the environment.
With the approaching World Cup and other restored sports broadcasts, you’ll be insulated against power outages from this year’s fire season, so you won’t miss a minute!
Even better, you’ll own your system, adding to your home’s value, while enjoying the Investor Tax Credit (ITC) of 26%, set to expire in two years.
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
There’s another reason to go solar now: Net Energy Metering (“NEM”) will soon change to terms less favorable to the solar investor, through “NEM3.0”. As power companies complete negotiations with the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”), trying to disincentivize solar and protect profits, the coming years will see compensation halved for surplus energy that your system supplies to the power company. Additionally, credits that normally offset winter utility bills will no longer be an option under NEM3.0 Those with existing solar systems will be exempt from NEM3.0.
Our specialists have a deep knowledge of many effective, fair financing options for the public, and can easily assist with your purchase.
We’d love to add you to the SolarUnion family, one where all are welcome and secure, through committed system monitoring.
To learn more about how you can safely eliminate most utility expenses while contributing to a cleaner, greener future, contact SolarUnion today. We are expert solar developers throughout California. Call us 24/7 at (888) 815-6633