The utilities industry is managing increasing numbers of physical and cyber threats, necessitating robust defense strategies and tactics. To date, however, solar facilities have lagged behind other utilities in terms of implementing best practices in security. This is driven by:

  • A common lack of infrastructure
  • The scope and circumstances of their physical space – large and remote – making security appear to be either unattainable or unnecessary
  • Lack of regulatory mandates (so far…) and acknowledged best practices

As a result, security measures for solar installations thus far have tended to be responsive as opposed to proactive. Incidents like copper theft, vandalism, wildfires, or panel damage commonly trigger the implementation of ‘quick fix’ solutions after the fact. Convergint is poised to help change that.

Growth Mandates Change

The industry is desperately in need of realignment in terms of its approach to security. And there is no better time than the present to initiate this change given the uptick in solar adoption. The Solar Energy Industry Association tracks U.S. solar installations, and recently reported that due to consumer demand, solar capacity has more than tripled in the last six years. This growth has regrettably been accompanied by an increase in physical and cyber security threats.

Solar power has become the fastest-growing electricity source in the U.S., presenting 54% of generation projects planned for 2023. This will not slow down any time soon. The US Energy and Information Administration anticipates that solar will lead power growth for the next several years. The need for enhanced security in solar cannot be ignored. Greater visibility for solar will make it more of a target for domestic terrorism and simple theft.

A more comprehensive evaluation on the front-end can markedly reduce risk. Convergint works with solar facilities nationally, adapting its defense-in-depth approach to meet the specific needs of this sub-vertical. This can include monitoring, video, dispatch and service – all done remotely. And we have found that involvement at the earliest stages of the building process can be hugely advantageous for solar customers in the long-run.

Where Security Technology Meets Operational Needs

The Convergint utilities team has identified opportunities to leverage innovative security technologies like drones and thermography to do double-duty as tools for panel maintenance and service. This could be a boon for a sub-vertical known for minimal investment in human resources. Furthermore, depending on where regulations go, cloud-based systems and robotics could prove to be game-changers for solar. Ultimately, technology is creating opportunity from both a security and operational perspective. As a result, the industry may be able to lean into Convergint provided solutions for panel integrity checks, control box troubleshooting or routine maintenance.

Contact Us

Convergint is the premier service partner for the utilities sector, prioritizing security and customer satisfaction. Convergint’s utilities team offers tailored solutions, cutting-edge technology, and exceptional support to empower utilities companies in this ever-changing landscape. To learn more about Convergint’s utilities capabilities, contact a specialist today.