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Smart Grid National Coordinator General Information:
301-975-2232 Telephone
301-975-4091 Facsimile
smartgrid@nist.gov
100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8100
Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8100

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NIST Smart Grid Update

June 2013

Chris Greer Named as New Director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office; Dave Wollman Named Deputy Director

Dr. Shyam Sunder, Director of the NIST Engineering Laboratory, announced on June 4 that Dr. Chris Greer will become the new Director of NIST’s Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, pending approval by the Department of Commerce and Office of Personnel Management. Greer will also concurrently hold the title of National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability.  These positions had previously been held by Dr. George Arnold, who earlier this year was promoted to the position of Director of NIST’s Standards Coordination Office.

Dr. Greer brings with him extensive leadership experience from academia, the National Science Foundation, the White House, and NIST. He previously served as Associate Director for Programs in the NIST Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) and Acting Senior Advisor for Cloud Computing. Prior to joining NIST, Greer served as Assistant Director for Information Technology R&D in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Cybersecurity Liaison to the National Security Staff. Before undertaking government service, he was a member of the tenured faculty at the University of California, Irvine, where his research focused on gene expression. Greer holds a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and a BA degree from the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. David Wollman, who most recently served as Manager, Smart Grid Standards and Research in the Engineering Laboratory, will move into the newly created position of Deputy Director. Before joining the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, Wollman managed efforts within the NIST Physical Measurement Laboratory to maintain and advance the Nation’s electrical standards and metrology supporting the electric power industry. In addition, he has served in several other positions at NIST, at both the Gaithersburg and Boulder locations.  Wollman holds a Ph.D. degree in condensed matter physics and a MS degree in physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BS degree in Physics from Michigan State University.

In announcing these management changes, Dr. Shyam Sunder said, “Chris and Dave will build on the outstanding work conducted under the leadership of George Arnold. They’ll work with industry and government partners to lead the development of a comprehensive effort in cyber-physical systems. Their goal is to promote the measurement science and standards required to create a new generation of interoperable, dynamic, and efficient ‘smart systems’ through the convergence of networking, information, and communication technologies with distributed sensing, control, data analytics, and predictive tools.”

Standard Development Completed for Smart Energy Profile 2 (SEP 2)

On April 29, the ZigBee Alliance announced that it has completed development and ratified the Smart Energy Profile 2 (SEP 2) standard. SEP 2 provides IP-based information and control for energy management in Home Area Networks (HANs), for both wired and wireless networks.

Commenting on the importance of SEP 2, Dr. George Arnold, Director of NIST’s Standards Coordination Office, said, "The vision of the smart grid is to enable empowered consumers and a more stable, reliable, and efficient energy supply. The ratification of SEP 2 by the ZigBee Alliance represents a significant step in enabling that vision and the evolution of the 21st century smart grid."

New capabilities enabled by SEP 2 include support for multiple energy service interfaces into a single premises, control of plug-in and hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) charging, deployments in multi-dwelling units such as apartment buildings, support for any transport based on IETF IP compliant protocols, and  support for internationally recognized standards to ensure long-term interoperability with multiple technologies.

NIST and SGIP have played important roles in the standard development process. The NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0 includes SEP 2 in its list of smart grid standards and specifications identified as important for the smart grid. In addition, several SGIP Priority Action Plans (PAPs) have included work related to SEP 2:

  • PAP-03: Develop Common Specification for Price and Product Definition
  • PAP-09: Standard DR and DER Signals
  • PAP-10: Standard Energy Usage Information
  • PAP-18: SEP 1.x to SEP 2 Transition and Coexistence

As part of the SGIP Catalog of Standards process, the SEP 2 standard is currently undergoing review by a number of committees, in preparation for its consideration by the Board of Directors and participating members.
For further information about SEP 2, a good resource is the May 14 webinar hosted by the ZigBee Alliance, now available online.  During the webinar, industry leaders—including SGIP Board member Robby Simpson of GE Digital Energy—outlined the standard’s features and benefits and discussed SEP 2 energy ecosystems and SEP 2 implementation.

NIST Director Testifies to Congress on the NIST Cybersecurity Framework

At a May 21 hearing held by the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce on “Cyber Threats and Security Solutions,” NIST Director Patrick Gallagher testified as the sole witness on the first panel. The very high level of interest in the topic was underscored by the lengthy question-and-answer period, which featured questions from over 20 Members of Congress.  The wide-ranging discussion touched on many topics of relevance to the smart grid community—including the importance of industry-led development of interoperable standards, the relationship between standards and regulations, and specific questions related to the security of the electric power grid.

Dr. Gallagher outlined the multi-stakeholder, public-private process that NIST will use to develop the Cybersecurity Framework , which was mandated by President Obama’s recent Executive Order on Improving Critical Infrastructure. Gallagher commented that this process is modeled in large part on the good work done over the past several years in the areas of smart grid and cloud computing.  

The second panel included testimony by leaders representing a variety of sectors, including Duane Highley, President and CEO of the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation, who testified on electricity issues on behalf of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

Copies of testimony and a webcast of the hearing are available online at the Committee’s website.

May 29-31 Workshop on Cybersecurity Framework Includes Discussion of Smart Grid Cybersecurity Issues

The second Cybersecurity Framework workshop, hosted by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh on May 29-31, provided a forum for stakeholders to analyze and discuss the initial inputs to the Cybersecurity Framework—including responses to the Request for Information (RFI) and the related preliminary analysis conducted by NIST.

The three-day workshop featured plenary sessions and four different working sessions.  Plenary sessions were webcast, and reports on the working sessions will be available after the workshop.  (See the Cybersecurity Framework website for further details on the workshop and for access to the recorded webcast.)

Many electric sector organizations participated in this NIST workshop as independent stakeholder organizations, including SGIP 2.0, along with many other stakeholders from other sectors in the broad critical infrastructure stakeholder community.  NIST’s Marianne Swanson, Chair of the SGIP Smart Grid Cybersecurity Committee (SGCC), said, “The significant work that we have accomplished together over the past several years, such as NISTIR 7628: Guidelines for Smart Grid Cyber Security, will be very useful to other critical infrastructure sectors.  There is a lot we can learn from others as we engage in this important framework process.”

The third workshop will be held in San Diego, July 10-12.  See the Cybersecurity Framework website for details.

SGIP Update

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, now operating independently as an industry-led, non-profit organization, continues to build a solid foundation for its future work. The number of organizational members now stands at 190, with annual dues revenue exceeding $1 million. The election process for new members of the Board of Directors is under way, with a slate of candidates to be announced shortly.

In recent weeks, Executive Director Patrick Gannon has announced the signing of contracts with several key service providers, including the following:

  • Edelman will be the Marketing and Communications Service Provider.
  • MFM Lamey Group will be the Event Management Service Provider.

SGIP’s annual conference, which will also be open to non-members, is scheduled for November 5-7 in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. The annual conference will include sessions focusing on the new draft Release 3 version—currently in preparation—of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards.

For an update on recent accomplishments and future plans, SGIP members are invited to attend the next e-conference on July 12.