Close to 80 Smart Grid Standards Revealed


powergridgeneric7As expected, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke released the smart grid standards road map — which the National Institute of Standards has been working on for many months — during his speech at the GridWeek conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday morning. The roadmap (download here), which Locke described in a release as “like a designer’s first detailed drawing of a complex structure” in the construction world, contains 77 standards that will dictate pieces of the smart grid. Thirty-one of those standards are officially included on the list and the remaining 46 are still under review for their inclusion on the list.

The roadmap also includes a set of 14 high-priority gaps in the smart grid standards that NIST and the industry think need to be addressed with action plans, including issues like the standard for upgrading smart meters and the standard for a demand response signal (see complete list of the 14 plans at the bottom of this post). The public (that means you!) will have 30 days to comment on the roadmap.

As Locke explained, this is just the first initial step for the smart grid standards process, and the roadmap document says that the smart grid will ultimately “require hundreds of standards.” NIST chose to address the standards for 8 areas first: wide-area awareness, demand response, electric storage, electric transportation, cyber security, network communications, smart meters and distribution grid management.

Back in May, Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced the first set of 16 standards, most of which were based on the leading standards bodies and have been established for years, like ZigBee and HomePlug for home area networks, ANSI for smart metering, as well as standards from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). Check out pages 35 to 38 of the report and you can see there are similar types of industry standards from ANSI, IEEE, CEA, ISO and the ITU. Pages 39 to 45 contain the additional standards that will be going under review and potentially included on the initial list in the coming months.

NIST should be applauded for being able to deliver this document on such a tight schedule — and mostly stick to its schedule. The organization has been under the gun to establish standards before the Department of Energy awards its stimulus fund grants to the industry. As George Arnold, NIST’s National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability (and one of our Top 15 Smart Grid Influencers) notes in the release: “[W]e have set a timetable that is much swifter than usual for establishing these standards.”

Here’s a complete list of the high priority areas:

  • Smart meter upgradeability standard (completed)
  • Common specification for price and product definition (early 2010)
  • Common scheduling mechanism for energy transactions (year-end 2009)
  • Common information model for distribution grid management (year-end 2010)
  • Standard demand response signals (January 2010)
  • Standard for energy use information (January 2010)
  • IEC 61850 Objects / DNP3 Mapping (2010)
  • Time synchronization (mid-2010)Transmission and distribution power systems models mapping (year-end 2010)
  • Guidelines for use of IP protocol suite in the Smart Grid (mid-year 2010)
  • Guidelines for use of wireless communications in the Smart Grid (mid-year 2010)
  • Electric storage interconnection guidelines (mid-2010)
  • Interoperability standards to support plug-in electric vehicles (December 2010)
  • Standard meter data profiles (year-end 2010)


Robert B Harvey

A few days back Earth2Tech issued a news release suggesting that money could be saved by using the Internet as a means of communication for the Smart Grid instead of having the FCC find an exclusive spectrum. With the constant attacks and disruptions on the Internet by miscreants this would be absolute folly. We need an independent communication system on the Smart Grid which could be made as impenetrable as possible for our security. Robert B Harvey PE

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