Gunfire Attack On Substations Raise New Concerns About Power Grid Security

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A targeted attack on power substations in Moore County is raising security concerns about the wider power grid.

More than 32,000 customers remain in the dark after someone fired shots at multiple substations, disabling equipment.

“Your electrical infrastructure is kinda supposed to be something that you take for granted and don’t have to worry about on a daily basis,” says Moore Co. resident Jake Dickson.

Dickson is one of 40,000 customers who lost power on Saturday night.

“I popped out of my house and kinda looked down the road and it was, I live in a very straight road and it was just dark, all the way, as far as I could see, just black,” Dickson says.

Monday, Governor Roy Cooper said the attack raises a new level of threat, adding it’s still too early to know who is responsible.

“Regardless of motive, violence and sabotage will not be tolerated,” Cooper said.

A Duke Energy spokesperson says the company protects its substations with physical security like fences and cameras and also takes cybersecurity measures.

“We have multiple layers of security that are in place and these have been in place, prior even to this weekend,” says Duke Energy spokesperson Logan Kureczka.

But it’s not possible to physically secure them in person at all times.

“We have a team of highly skilled professionals and they monitor and respond to any threats, really around the clock,” Kureczka says.

Cooper says action must be taken to increase infrastructure security.

“We will be evaluating ways to work with our utility providers and our state and federal officials to make sure that we harden our infrastructure where that’s necessary and work to prevent future damage,” Cooper said.