Success Story

Nexus Controls enables cyber secure and reliable remote connection in Chile

3 Min Read
Nexus Controls cybersecurity for Generadora Metropolitana

The background

In 2020, Nexus Controls closed a deal to perform a Human-Machine Interface (HMI) migration for two 132 MW GE gas turbines located in separate Power Plants in Chile, Santa Lidia and Los Vientos. The company, Generadora Metropolitana, is a key player in the Chilean energy market.

The deal also included a Critical System Gateway for each site to support online connections from Nexus Controls engineers to perform remote services.

This offering turned out to be a key solution for the customer during the pandemic by giving them the opportunity to improve the existing  remote operations with a new, flexible and cyber secure architecture according to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation critical infrastructure protection (NERC CIP) standard.

The challenges

In a COVID-19 pandemic, with travel restrictions and limited availability of local onsite resources, Nexus Controls proposed a secure method to improve response time and enable secure remote diagnostic services through a Critical System Gateway.

In 2021, once the first site HMI migration was complete and operational, Generadora Metropolitana noticed the full potential of the Control System Gateway and quickly realized the value of the technology. They then decided to use it in a complementary way to support their own permanent remote supervision and control of the turbines from their central control room, replacing the operation of a legacy HMI / Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) software.  

This technology that was first installed to allow Nexus Controls to perform remote services, later served as a solution for the customer to secure their own operation.

The Critical System Getaway also provided protection against cybersecurity risks. The solution enabled full protocol and system isolation, encrypted channels for remote access, granular authorizations to industrial applications, multi-factor authentication, complete session logging, and video recording of user access. Ultimately, the final solution provided full visibility and traceability for the customer.

The solution

During the migration of the HMIs at Santa Lidia’s site, the customer asked for some configuration changes and additional tests in order to start using the Remote Operation services in a permanent way for supervising and controlling the turbines from a centralized control room located in the Nueva Renca Power Plant, where Generadora Metropolitana centralizes and coordinates their entire operation.

The platform flexibility provides the user, and the Nexus Controls team, the ability to remotely visualize and modify the HMI, change its programming, operate turbines, check alarms, events, and process variables, 24/7, with an Internet connection. This control can be made through a computer or a mobile device.

The Critical System Gateway is cybersecure, and records every move and action made by operators and engineering administrators.

Generadora-Metropolitana logo

The customer

Generadora Metropolitana,  a company of the AME and EDF groups, has an installed capacity of 750MW in Chile, produced through four power generation plants that are located in strategic points of the National Electric System.

For the last decade, Nexus Controls has been facilitating platform modernization at several development stages of their thermoelectric sites at Santa Lidia, Los Vientos, and Nueva Renca.

The significance

This customer success story represents the value of a partnership with Nexus Controls, which provides key technology to increase performance while optimizing operational costs.

Special thanks

Gabriel Tornari and Christian Diaz were instrumental for this customer success.