Duke Energy to collaborate with KEMA to develop smart grid interoperability testing lab


David Mohler,
Chief Technology
Officer, Duke Energy
Burlington, MA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) February 1, 2011 – Duke Energy is to collaborate with KEMA on developing smart grid interoperability testing and certification capabilities.

The Smart Grid Interop Lab will provide utilities and technology suppliers independent verification of device specifications. It will also certify smart grid product and service interoperability, performance, and compliance with existing and emerging standards.

As part of the collaboration KEMA will provide interoperability testing for Duke Energy’s smart grid infrastructure and devices inside the Duke Energy Envision Center in Erlanger, KY. The Smart Grid Interop Lab is interoperable from multiple locations. It will initially be co-located at the Duke Energy Envision Center and at KEMA’s Powertest Lab in Chalfont, PA. KEMA will also offer smart grid testing and certification services independently to utilities and technology suppliers.

The Interop Lab, which draws from KEMA’s Smart Grid Reference Architecture initiative, is designed to help utilities and technology suppliers understand the aggregate value of their smart grid components. Through testing and certification, the lab offers independent verification of device interoperability and validation of compliance of low voltage automation devices, meters, and consumer products with evolving smart grid standards.

The lab offers utilities and technology suppliers several unique capabilities, including:

  • A live and operational smart grid environment to test compliance of products and services with existing and new standards, as they evolve
  • The ability to test, individually or in combination, new products and services for compliance and interoperability with supplemental products and services
  • A controlled environment to develop and execute new test procedures and use-case scenarios in accordance with evolving NIST smart grid standards
  • A platform to provide training for smart grid system installations, operations, and diagnostics.

“Applying digital communications technology to the existing power grid is an important step in the evolution of the energy industry and in consumers’ ability to achieve sustainable energy efficiency in their homes and businesses,” said David Mohler, Duke Energy’s chief technology officer. “The success of smart grid in this nation depends on the technology being integrated safely and securely into the existing infrastructure, and KEMA’s work at our Envision Center will give utilities and suppliers a living lab where they can test product functionality and benefits before rolling it out for consumers.”