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Feds Broach Standards for U.S. Smart Grid

smartgridnetworkLaying the groundwork for a U.S. smart grid system that allows for the increased use of renewable energy sources, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a report that identifies issues and priorities for developing technical standards and an architecture for a U.S. Smart Grid.

NIST will use the report to draft the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework. The document will describe a high-level architecture, identify an initial set of key standards, and provide a roadmap for developing new or revised standards. Release 1.0 of the framework should be available in September.

In May, The U.S. Departments of Energy and Commerce announced the first set of standards that are needed to drive the development of a smart power grid.

The nearly 300-page report, developed by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), is part of the first phase of NIST’s three-phase plan, announced in April to expedite the development of smart grid standards. The standards body will accept public comments on the report for 30 days after the publication of a notice in the Federal Register.

EPRI’s report includes recommendations from a variety of smart grid stakeholders, including technical contributions from two EPRI-sponsored, two-day, public workshops. The report also incorporates contributions from six expert working groups established by NIST in 2008, and a cybersecurity coordination task group established in 2009.

A third public EPRI-sponsored Smart Grid interoperability-standards workshop will be held in early August to discuss unaddressed, high-priority needs identified in the draft standards roadmap. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will determine whether sufficient consensus has been reached to implement final standards and protocols necessary for Smart Grid functionality and interoperability.

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