Noticing the steady increase of stringent regulations requiring electric facilities to enhance their physical security to reduce their vulnerability to any kind of physical attack or threat, South Plains Electric Cooperative (SPEC) decided to be proactive and start working towards revamping their security installation with a state-of-the-art system. SPEC, a fast-growing electric cooperative in Texas, includes 32 substations, seven offices and a tower site for radio communications located across Texas.
SPEC's network and systems administrator Tim Warren knew he needed to find an enterprise-grade, open platform security system that would unify all of SPEC's physical security requirements, including video surveillance and access control, but also manage potential alarms triggered by their perimeter intrusion system.
To help them with this project, SPEC turned to Lubbock-based Control Technologies, the largest independent building management systems supplier in West Texas. Following a thorough evaluation of different manufacturers, Control Technologies advised SPEC to work with Genetec's Security Center software to secure their entire infrastructure.
“We cover over 6,600 square miles and are committed to providing reliable electricity to over 52,000 electric meters throughout West Texas, but until recently we had a very basic analog VMS system and access to our substations was still key-based,” Warren explained. “We needed our new security system to give us visual feedback of all our facilities at any time, and let us know who has accessed what area and when.With Genetec Security Center software, we are now able to monitor our 190+ cameras and 200+ access control-enabled doors from either our central operations center in Lubbock or from our mobile devices.”
As part of its security installation revamp, SPEC also installed a state-of-the-art fiber optic perimeter intrusion system to secure its substations. Using video analytics on the edge, should an alarm be triggered by the intrusion system, SPEC's PTZ cameras will immediately focus on the breached area so that operators are able to immediately see the video and access control data from that location.
“Across all of our offices, where we don't need a fiber optic perimeter intrusion system, we have also set up Security Center so that the cameras will immediately react to the detection of movement from any large object — such as a truck arriving — and automatically track that motion. No other system we evaluated could do that in such an integrated manner,” Warren said.
As SPEC continues to upgrade its security infrastructure and more cameras are being deployed, the Security Center will allow the cooperative to quickly and easily bring new substations into the system.