Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Move Forward

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) released an update to their Smart Grid Framework on October 25. The expansion seeks to address certain concerns and needs that have arisen since the original framework was released in January 2010.

Among the issues addressed in the update are
  • an expanded view of the architecture of the Smart Grid
  • a number of developments related to ensuring cybersecurity for the Smart Grid, including  a Risk Management Framework to provide guidance on security practices;
  • a new framework for testing the conformity of devices and systems to be connected to the Smart Grid – the Interoperability Process Reference Manual;
  • Information on efforts to coordinate the Smart Grid standards effort for the United States with similar efforts in other parts of the world; and  
  • an overview of future areas of work, including electromagnetic disturbance and interference, and improvements to the SGIP processes.

The update added 22 new standards and protocols to the original 75. Included in these was a chapter on the role of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) which is a collaborative organization made up of of over 700 smart grid stakeholders and was birthed at Grid-Interop.

SGIP had proposed 6
new standards
earlier this year and the board had approved them, but recently these standards received a vote of over 90 percent approval by the larger SGIP members.

These standards include

  • Internet protocol standards, which will allow grid devices to exchange information.
  • Energy usage information standards, which will permit consumers to know the cost of energy used at a given time.
  • Standards for vehicle charging stations, necessary for ensuring electric vehicles can be connected to power outlets.
  • Use cases for communication between plug-in vehicles and the grid, to help ensure that the vehicles - which will draw heavy power loads -will not place undue strain on the grid.
  • Requirements for upgrading smart meters, which will replace household electric meters.
  • Guidelines for assessing standards for wireless communication devices, which will be needed for grid communication but can have far less tolerance for delay or interruption of signals than there is among general data communication devices, such as cell phones.

The development of these standards and the eventual industry adoption of them will be a necessity on the way to widespread smart grid adoption. Grid-Interop is proud to have worked with other stakeholders in driving these necessary conversations, and in the case of SGIP, to have helped create an organization that has continued the exciting discussion of interoperability that began at our event and is now shaping the future of smart grid. We hope that this progress will allow this year’s Grid-Interop to have an even richer, more grounded exchange. And with the first Grid-Interop Plug-In, we’ll see how some of these standards have already made end-to-end interoperability a reality.

By Clasma Events, Inc.

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Blog: NIST and SGIP Work On #SmartGrid Interoperability Standards
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