New tool to help eliminate smart grid communication confusion


The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) and it’s Electric Grid Ontology Task Force have released a Smart Grid Ontology tool that provides a common language model to discuss current and future technologies in an unambiguous manner.

This tool is the result of years of collaborative work convened by SEPA to address this important need.

Progress on smart grid interoperability standards and deployment requires a universal vocabulary and framework to categorise and appropriately define utility information exchanges and the relationships between elements on the electric grid.

“The SEPA Smart Grid Ontology project directly addresses the misunderstanding and ambiguity within the smart grid systems architecture today,” said Ron Cunningham, IT enterprise architect at American Electric Power. “If widely adopted, the resulting formal ontology(s) can reduce the frustrations and inefficiencies posed by those miscommunications.”

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Many other industries, including pharmaceuticals, biomedical and financial services have incorporated ontology projects into their business models. Successful implementation for the electric grid will require broad industry acceptance, thus SEPA invites utilities to download and use this new tool in their IT and OT testing environments. Ultimately, SEPA envisions that this ontology will enable automated multi-system data analytics and optimization.

SEPA is also announcing the addition of Ben Ealey to the SEPA staff as principal, grid integration. In this role, Ben leads SEPA’s focus on reducing the friction points in grid modernization to accelerate clean energy deployment. He will also lead future efforts in the smart grid ontology project. Ealey brings more than a decade of industry expertise working at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) with experience in demand response, energy efficiency, solar photovoltaics, energy storage systems, and smart grid interoperability.

“The SEPA Smart Grid Ontology is an illustrative example of SEPA’s value to our members and the broader industry,” said Ealey. “We hope that this tool will help reduce costs and mitigate delays as the industry moves down the grid modernization roadmap. I’m personally excited to join SEPA and continue to develop and deploy innovative solutions in collaboration with the industry.”

SEPA will highlight the Smart Grid Ontology at the Distributech 2020 conference in San Antonio. To learn more, visit live demonstration or SEPA Smart Grid Ontology landing page.