Utility network and cyber security provider EMR Integrated Solutions has announced a collaboration with Stern Energy, which will see it enhance cyber security and improve operational visibility at Stern Energy’s solar farm clients across the UK, Italy and the Netherlands.

EMR will deploy UniCAS, its secure communications platform, which provides standardised control and secure access with an eye to NIS2 compliance at each solar site, ensuring greater operational visibility and uninterrupted flows of grid-connected data back to its clients’ SCADA systems.

Alan Feenan, director of sales, EMR Integrated Solutions.

Revamping of photovoltaic systems across Europe

UniCAS complements Stern Energy’s technical services in the construction, management, maintenance and revamping of photovoltaic systems across Europe.

Andrea Muncivi, managing director at Stern Energy, said: “As an operations and maintenance [O&M] provider, we have a duty to our solar energy clients to act as their trusted advisor. This includes making them aware of potential weaknesses in the cyber security posture of their field-based assets. Working closely with EMR helps us to address those weaknesses and keeps our clients compliant with industry regulations. 

“The EMR team has a high level of competence around secure communications. We’re very happy with the results and keen to strengthen our service portfolio with their assistance.”

EMR’s UniCAS solution includes a managed service delivered through its network operations centre, which alerts in response to service interruptions or communications outages, allowing for swift problem resolution and maximum network uptime. This is a critical part of the service as Mr Muncivi explains.

Unauthorised site access

“Network uptime is critical for us as we guarantee response time. For example, with a temporary communications failure we lose connectivity to the CCTV system so the risk of unauthorised site access increases or similarly an alert might be indicative of a system bypass attempt. Without this visibility we’re running blind but EMR’s monitoring service fulfils our commitment to safe operation of our systems and consistent generation of grid data as required.”

“European directives such as NIS2 are forcing a more robust response from critical national infrastructure providers to the threats posed by malicious actors,” according to Alan Feenan, sales director with EMR Integrated Solutions.

“UniCAS has the benefit of allowing renewable energy asset managers to consolidate and control access to field assets for O&Ms, telecoms and data providers, CCTV providers and other third parties. Onboarding and offboarding to the network is easy while centralised security policy enforces access parameters. Our service has clearly tapped into the need for risk mitigation in cyber security and sales are growing strongly in the utility sector.”

EMR has a strong track record of working with providers across renewable energy. Its clients include Greencoat UK Wind, Schroders Greencoat LLP, Enerco Energy and Greater Gabbard Ofto.