Summary

Manitoba Hydro is the major energy utility company for the province of Manitoba, Canada. The utility company recently achieve NERC-compliance across 80+ critical sites after upgrading to Genetec Security Center for video surveillance, access control, and intrusion detection.

The company

Manitoba Hydro is the energy utility company for the province of Manitoba, Canada. From its head office in downtown Winnipeg, the company serves 580,262 electric customers and 281,990 natural gas customers, and fulfills power sales to SaskPower, Wisconsin Public Service, Minnesota Power, Xcel Energy, Great River Energy, and the Basin Power Cooperative. About 96% of the electricity produced is renewable power. In total, the company has over 160 sites around the province, including generation, transmission, and converter stations, critical control centers, customer service facilities, office buildings, natural gas stations, and storage depots.

The challenge

In the United States and Canada, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) ensures the reliability of bulk power systems. One of NERC’s main physical security requirements is that utility organizations must record all access control activity, maintain logs for authorized access, and monitor critical facilities for unauthorized access 24/7. They must also implement the appropriate response plan within 15 minutes of an access breach alarm. While Manitoba Hydro monitored facilities using independent access control and video systems, the solutions lacked the capabilities that the utility company needed to achieve NERC compliance.

“We’ve gone from zero intelligence to almost real-time event monitoring using the Security Center platform. We now have robust physical protection systems that help us keep our organization NERC compliant.”

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Physical Security Supervisor, Manitoba Hydro

Results

Manitoba Hydro chose Security Center, the unified security solution from Genetec which combines Security Center Omnicast™ for video surveillance, Security Center Synergis™ for access control and other security systems into one intuitive platform. The system helps manage over 1,000 doors and 1,100 cameras across all its critical facilities to enhance security and minimize NERC compliance violations.

“Having both the Synergis and Omnicast systems combined in one platform is a tremendous benefit to our operations,” explained the Physical Security Supervisor. “We receive real-time alarms alongside the live video of the event, allowing our team to quickly investigate and classify alarms and to initiate the appropriate planned response to meet NERC compliance requirements.”

The solution

Unified and centralized monitoring

The team manages doors, cameras, and intrusion events from one interface. All video and data are sent back to a central monitoring station, where operators actively monitor incoming alarms.

Built-in intrusion detection

Leveraging the openness of the platform, the security team has set up virtual tripwires using KiwiVision™ Security Video Analytics  to identify potential intruders nearing their sites’ perimeter.

Speedy map-based response

The team works from Plan Manager, the map interface of Security Center. This helps them easily locate doors and cameras, check device statuses, and quickly handle alarms across sites.

Complete system reliability

The unwavering system performance gives operators constant access to the information and video they need. Without interruptions or failures, the team works at peak efficiency.

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