First framework for U.S. smart grid interoperability released


Patrick Gallagher,
Director, NIST
Gaithersburg, MD, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — January 20, 2010 – The United States Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) yesterday released version 1.0 of the “Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards” describing a high level conceptual reference model for the smart grid and identifying 75 existing standards that are applicable, or likely to be applicable, to the ongoing development of the smart grid in the U.S.

In addition the document specifies 15 high priority gaps and harmonization issues for which new or revised standards and requirements are needed, and it documents action plans with aggressive timelines by which designated standards setting organizations will address these gaps. Further, it describes the strategy to establish requirements and standards to help ensure smart grid cyber security.

The smart grid is a complex system of systems, and the conceptual architectural reference model provides a means to analyze use cases, identify interfaces for which interoperability standards are needed, and to facilitate development of a cyber security strategy. In particular the model identifies seven domains, bulk generation, transmission, distribution, markets, operations, service provider, and customer. Further, the model identifies interfaces among domains and actors, and includes applications requiring exchanges of information, for which interoperability standards are needed.

The smart grid will ultimately require hundreds of standards, specifications, and requirements. To prioritize its work, the NIST chose to focus initially on standards needed to address eight priority areas – demand response and consumer energy efficiency, wide-area situational awareness, energy storage, electric transportation, advanced metering infrastructure, distribution grid management, cyber security, and network communications – resulting in the identification of the 75 initial standards.

During this process a total of 70 gaps requiring entirely new standards to be developed were identified, of which 15 were selected as being the most urgently needed to support one or more of the smart grid priority areas. These, with their target completion dates, are:

  • Smart meter upgradeability standard (completed)
  • Common specification for price and product definition (early 2010)
  • Common scheduling mechanism for energy transactions (early 2010)
  • Common information model for distribution grid management (year-end 2010)
  • Standard demand response signals (early 2010)
  • Standards for energy use information (mid 2010)
  • DNP3 mapping to IEC 61850 objects (2010)
  • Harmonization of IEEE C37.118 with IEC 61850 and precision 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 2010)
  • Guidelines for use of wireless communications in the smart grid (mid 2010)
  • Energy storage interconnection guidelines (mid 2010)
  • Interoperability standards to support plug-in electric vehicles (year-end 2010)
  • Standard meter data profiles (year-end 2010)
  • Harmonize power line carrier standards for appliance communications in the home (year-end 2010).

“This is an important milestone for NIST, for the entire community of smart grid stakeholders, and for the nation,” said NIST director Patrick Gallagher announcing the publication of the document. “This first installment of the smart grid interoperability framework will pay dividends to our nation for decades to come.”

The document, which is based on comments on an earlier draft from more than 80 individuals and organizations, also contains an initial smart grid cyber security strategy and associated requirements – issues that are being addressed in more detail in a separate document due to be issued in early February.

In November 2009 the project moved into the second phase with the establishment of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), which is intended to provide a more permanent process to support the evolution of the interoperability framework and further development of standards. The SGIP comprises almost 500 member organizations to date, while a total of 1,350 individuals from these organizations have signed up to participate in the panel’s technical activities.