Offshore wind farms leveraging voltage source converter-based high voltage direct current connections are vulnerable to cyberattacks that could compromise sensors to prompt power oscillations that could trigger blackouts and equipment damage, Interesting Engineering reports.
Such wind farms' increased complexity over onshore systems should prompt more sophisticated cybersecurity defenses, according to a study by Concordia University and Hydro-Quebec researchers presented at the 2023 IEEE International Conference on Communications, Control, and Computing Technologies for Smart Grids. Offshore wind farm operators and engineers should also be given more robust cyber resilience and defense strategies to better protect their equipment from cybersecurity threats, said researchers.
"As we advance the integration of renewable energies, it is imperative to recognize that we are venturing into uncharted territory, with unknown vulnerabilities and cyber threats. We hope that our study will raise awareness and inspire further research on this important and timely topic," said lead researcher Juanwei Chen.