Essence Cybersecurity Tool for Threat Detection

Defending America’s Energy Supply

Cybersecurity is of paramount concern for all businesses including electric cooperatives. NRECA has developed a new diagnostic tool, Essence 2.0, which accelerates the detection of malicious cyberthreats on systems from months to seconds.

How NRECA Created Essence

Developed by NRECA and its partners through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, Essence 2.0 research is focused on advancing and integrating two technologies developed by NRECA and its technology partners—a “cybersecurity-collect-communicate-collaborate” (C4) platform and a real-time anomaly detection capability called GridState. Both technologies were proven effective against cyber and physical attacks in the Rapid Attack Detection, Isolation and Characterization System program using live environments sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Putting Essence to Work to Protect Our Industry

In 2020, DOE awarded NRECA $6 million to demonstrate that Essence 2.0 is an affordable resource for utilities to protect their operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) against cyber threats. NRECA has implemented the technology at a strategic set of electric co-op partners and seeks to expand its use to 55 additional co-ops and other utilities under the DOE award.

Find Out More

  • Have a specific question? Our team is available and welcomes your questions. Use this form or feel free to contact our team at

  • Want a live demonstration? NRECA is available to provide a detailed review of Essence via a webinar and demonstration. We explain how Essence works and answer your questions along the way. Request a demo.

  • Want to see a recorded demonstration? Watch our introduction and demonstration video (45 minutes) or demonstration-only video (26 minutes) at your convenience.

  • Interested in seeing if you qualify for deployment of Essence? Simply fill out this short form and we will contact you soon to discuss your involvement with this project.

  • Want to stay updated on our progress with Essence? NRECA will report on progress with Essence 2.0 on this website. Visit often and reach out to our team at any time:


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Our Team

Contact our team at:

  • Doug Lambert, Project Lead
  • Will Hutton, Cybersecurity Principal