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Smart Grid National Coordination


 The Smart Grid National Coordination project leads, coordinates and manages the national public-private stakeholder partnership effort to accelerate development of interoperability standards for the smart grid, fulfilling NIST's statutory responsibility under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). NIST's highly visible leadership of smart grid standardization efforts helps to ensure that the estimated $400 billion of industry smart grid investment over the next 20 years in the U.S. will be interoperable and secure, and promotes international harmonization and alignment to maximize the ability of U.S. manufacturers to compete in a global smart grid market. The project also provides programmatic leadership of NIST-wide smart grid measurement science research conducted in the Engineering Laboratory, the Information Technology Laboratory, and the Physical Measurement Laboratory.


Objective: This project leads, coordinates and manages the national public-private stakeholder partnership effort to accelerate development of interoperability standards for the smart grid, fulfilling NIST's statutory responsibility under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007(EISA), and provides programmatic leadership of NIST-wide smart grid measurement science research.

What is the new technical idea? NIST leadership, coordination and acceleration of smart grid interoperability standards development are key responsibilities established under the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA). NIST's national and international coordination efforts engage the broad range of smart grid stakeholders to identify their needs and to ensure that these priorities are addressed in the ongoing smart grid interoperability standards development process. Key stakeholders include industry, other federal agencies such as the Department of Energy (DOE), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP),state and local agencies, Congress, trade associations, standard setting organizations (SSOs),universities, and other governments. NIST established the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) as a primary mechanism for "input and cooperation" with the private sector and other agencies in developing the smart grid interoperability framework. Initially funded entirely by the government, with NIST encouragement it transitioned to a private-public nonprofit organization SGIP 2.0, Inc., with a majority of funding provided by the private sector. This transition enabled NIST to increase its focus on challenging measurement science research barriers that require NIST's unique capabilities to address.

What is the research plan? The project has three components: Smart Grid Secretariat, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, and Smart Grid Measurement Science Program Development and Management.

Smart Grid Secretariat
The Smart Grid Secretariat provides leadership, coordination, and management for the NIST Smart Grid Program. It convenes a broad-based stakeholder partnership that engages industry, government, SSOs and academia in developing the interoperability and cybersecurity standards underpinning the nation's smart grid. It initiates and manages collaboration with international smart grid efforts to create harmonized standards and international alignment that maximize export opportunities for US manufacturers. The Secretariat provides periodic reports to Congress on the smart grid program as required by EISA. The Secretariat ensures interagency coordination through direct agency interactions and participation on the DOE-led Federal Smart Grid Task Force. It provides technical support to state regulators (including via the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners) and FERC, who are responsible for promulgating standards-related smart grid regulatory policies and approving smartgrid investments. The Secretariat administers the NIST Smart Grid (Federal) Advisory Committee, a group of high-level leaders and executives from the smart grid industry and academia that advises NIST on the smart grid program. The Secretariat has strategic engagement with national and international leadership of Standards Developing Organizations (SDOs) in order to facilitate and accelerate standards development.

The Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, published by NIST in January2010 (Release 1.0) and updated in February 2012 (Release 2.0), provides the smart grid industry and U.S. regulators the foundational guidance on architecture, standards, testing and certification, and cybersecurity based on consensus industry input and a comprehensive public review process. The Smart Grid Secretariat is coordinating the development and review of a draft Release 3.0 update of the NIST Framework in collaboration with the SGIP and other stakeholders and technical resources. The NIST Framework Release 3.0 will be finalized and published in FY14.

The Smart Grid Secretariat actively promotes the results of NIST's smart grid program through publications in industry journals and invited talks at technical programs of major smart grid conferences and workshops. These opportunities showcase the results of the NIST Smart Grid Program and its impact.

Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
NIST created the SGIP in December 2009 as a public-private partnership to coordinate stakeholders and support NIST in developing the Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards. In April 2013, SGIP operations transitioned to a new private-public nonprofit organization, the SGIP 2.0,Inc. (to distinguish it from original public-private partnership SGIP 1.0). Since smart grid interoperability standards and testing and certification will continue to evolve and require significant on going stakeholder coordination, with NIST encouragement the private sector has increased its leadership role to create and support SGIP and its operations. Consistent with the NIST-SGIP Memorandum of Understanding signed in December 2012, a cooperative agreement between NIST and SGIP was established in April 2013 to further coordinate smart grid stakeholders to accelerate smart grid standards development and implementations. The Secretariat provides management oversight and technical direction for this cooperative agreement , and will continue to support SGIP through NIST leadership and technical contributions within the SGIP. Secretariat staff holds leadership positions in various SGIP standing committees and working groups including the Testing and Certification Committee and Domain Expert Working Groups and Priority Action Plans and staff participates on the Technical Committee and Membership and Marketing Committee. In addition, NIST staff serves as ex-officio members on the SGIP 2.0 Board of Directors.

Major Accomplishments:

Research Outcomes:

  • “Frameworks and Data Initiatives for Smart Grid and other Cyber-Physical Systems” D.A. Wollman, submitted to Proceedings of the 7th International ACM Conference on Distributed Event-Based Systems  

Technology Transfer Outcomes:

  • NIST published two R&D measurement needs reports from an August 2012 workshop attended by 90 leading technical and industry experts in the smart grid community. The reports, titled “Strategic R&D Opportunities for the Smart Grid” and “Technology, Measurement, and Standards Challenges for the Smart Grid” identify some of the most important technical issues in the smart grid field, and prioritize impediments and R&D areas that must be addressed for successful deployment of the smart grid. The workshop was a collaborative effort of NIST and the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute (RASEI), a joint institute of the University of Colorado Boulder and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). 

Realized Technology Transfer Impacts:

  • NIST Framework: The NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0 (and Release 1.0), NIST Special Publication 1108R2 (and 1108) is the primary reference document for interoperability protocols and standards, not only for the U.S. but also internationally. It has been used by Japan, Korea, China and the EU in developing their roadmaps, and by utilities and vendors as overall guidance to support interoperability of systems and devices. The NIST Smart Grid Program is currently working on an update of the NIST Framework; after public review in late 2013, a final Release 3.0 of the NIST Framework is anticipated to be published in early 2014.   
  • Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) 1.0 and SGIP 2.0, Inc. and associated outputs including the Catalog of Standards. The public-private partnership SGIP 1.0 (established by NIST in November 2009) and subsequent private-public partnership nonprofit organization SGIP 2.0, Inc. (established in 2012, operational in April 2013) have become the leading national and international smart grid organizations to visibly align and coordinate smart grid stakeholders to accelerate smart grid standardization and deployment. NIST has worked with the SGIP as a primary mechanism to obtain “input and cooperation” with the private sector and other agencies in developing the NIST smart grid interoperability framework. With over 190 member organizations (as of May 2013), industry is now contributing membership dues of over $1,000,000, representing greater than 50% of funding for SGIP 2.0 operations, consistent with increased industry leadership and its identification as a private-public partnership. The SGIP’s Catalog of Standards (CoS) is considered to be the "Physician's Desk Reference" of smart grid standards to support industry implementations, and is one of many SGIP outputs that provides significant value to the smart grid community. Based on its consensus-confirming voting process and supported by technical reviews of standards, the CoS includes 56 standards (as of May 2013) voted for inclusion by the SGIP plenary membership.