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Smart Grid Panel Approves Six Standards for Catalog

From NIST Tech Beat: August 2, 2011

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Contact: Chad Boutin
(301) 975-4261

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) has made the first six entries into its new Catalog of Standards,* a technical document now available as a guide for all involved with Smart Grid-related technology. The six standards, all of which were approved previously by the SGIP’s Governing Board, received approval by more than 90 percent of the broader SGIP membership in voting earlier this month.

The SGIP, a consensus-based group of more than 675 public and private organizations, was created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to coordinate the development of Smart Grid standards. While the SGIP does not develop or write these standards directly, a vote of approval signifies that its member organizations have agreed on the inclusion of a group of standards in the catalog.

The six entries relate to high-priority national standards needed to create a modern, energy-efficient power grid with seamlessly interoperable components. In order to convert today’s power grid—which still functions largely as it did when grids were created in the 19th century—into a power distribution network that can enable the wide use of electric vehicles, as well as incorporate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, a number of new standards must be established. Among these are the catalog’s first six entries, which include:

  • internet protocol standards, which will allow grid devices to exchange information;
  • energy usage information standards, which will permit consumers to know the cost of energy used at a given time;
  • standards for vehicle charging stations, necessary for ensuring electric vehicles can be connected to power outlets;
  • use cases for communication between plug-in vehicles and the grid, to help ensure that the vehicles—which will draw heavy power loads—will not place undue strain on the grid;
  • requirements for upgrading smart meters, which will replace household electric meters; and
  • guidelines for assessing standards for wireless communication devices, which will be needed for grid communication but can have far less tolerance for delay or interruption of signals than there is among general data communication devices, such as cell phones.

The six catalog entries cover five of the 19 Priority Action Plans, or PAPs, named by grid experts as those issues most necessary to address early for the Smart Grid to function properly. PAPs 0, 1, 2, 10 and 11—the latter of which covers both electric vehicle standards—are now addressed in the catalog.

*The catalog is available at http://collaborate.nist.gov/twiki-sggrid/bin/view/SmartGrid/SGIPCoSStandardsInformationLibrary, and a fact sheet with extended lay-language summaries of the six entries is available at www.nist.gov/smartgrid/sgip-072611-factsheet.cfm. The full release on the catalog entries is available at www.nist.gov/smartgrid/sgip-072611.cfm.