October 25, 2011 – KEMA, the authority in energy consulting, testing, and certification, officially opened its Smart Grid Interop Lab in Erlanger, Kentucky, United States. The new lab is a dynamic testing center for smart grid technologies. It is designed to simulate real-world conditions and test end-to-end functionality of smart grid elements, such as in-home displays, electric vehicle charging, smart meters, and customer information portals. The lab plays an important role in the deployment of smart grids.
The lab provides independent testing of specific designs within a specific environment, enabling flexibility and innovation within existing smart grid programs and configurations. Energy and utility industry senior executives and government officials attended this celebratory event.
Compliance and cyber security
As the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), as well as standardization and technology organizations in other countries and industry stakeholders work to define smart grid standards and an interoperable infrastructure, KEMA will ensure compliance and testing in the lab is in accordance with these initiatives. Interoperability testing will also provide critical measurement of cyber security performance within smart grid networks.
Interoperability imperative for utilities
“Our Smart Grid Interop Lab is all about taking industry leading smart grid technologies and putting them to the test from a functionality, compliance and interoperability perspective. The benefit to utilities is to reduce exposure to risks in their smart grid deployments,” said Hugo van Nispen, managing director for KEMA Americas. "Ensuring interoperability will be imperative for utilities, and there are not many options for this level of testing. We’re really the only impartial interoperability lab in the world,” added van Nispen.