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NIST Smart Grid and CPS Newsletter - May 2017

Table of Contents

Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Expo Planned for August 28-29, 2017

The 2017 Global City Teams Challenge (GCTC) Expo will bring together over 100 cities and communities from around the world—in partnership with more than 300 companies, universities, non-profits, and federal government agencies—to share and exhibit their smart city projects and the benefits and impacts to their communities. The event will be held August 28-29, 2017, at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC.  The preliminary agenda and registration details are now available online.

This year’s main theme is bringing federal/central and local governments together to discuss challenges, collaborations, and replication of best practices for smart city projects. The event provides an excellent opportunity for those in industry and academia to identify significant business and research opportunities. As a special feature of this year’s Expo, the five Superclusters will announce smart city blueprints that document real-world examples and best practices among smart city plans and solutions gleaned from cities around the world.

According to Sokwoo Rhee, GCTC lead for NIST, “The GCTC Expo is the largest smart city and community event hosted by the US federal government. The 2017 Expo promises to be the biggest and best one yet. There is still time for you to form a new action cluster to share your solution and experience with other cities, communities, and stakeholders at the Expo.” Previous GCTC Expos (in June 2016 and June 2015) have each attracted thousands of attendees as well as significant media coverage. 

To participate in the Expo as an exhibitor and speaker, the application to register a new action cluster must be submitted by June 8, 2017. For those interested in forming a new action cluster, Sokwoo Rhee is hosting a “New Action Cluster Webinar” on June 1, 2017 (11 a.m. US Eastern time). The webinar can be joined online or on the phone:

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GCTC SuperClusters: Sprinting Toward the 2017 Expo

This year’s GCTC program has placed a special emphasis on the formation of SuperClusters—multi-city, multi-stakeholder collaborations organized around common project objectives and shared solutions. Committed cities/communities and partners are jointly tackling shared issues in sectors such as transportation, public safety, and energy. Each SuperCluster is producing a blueprint/playbook to be used by cities and communities around the world as the foundation to build their own smart city strategies.

As they prepare for the 2017 Expo, where they will unveil their smart city blueprints, the five Superclusters have been holding regular online meetings. Each SuperCuster has also held a face-to-face workshop. 

The most recent workshop was organized by the Public WiFi SuperCluster (PWSC) (San Jose, California, May 11, 2017). The event explored how public Wi-Fi can help bridge the digital divide, support economic development, support IoT and smart city applications, as well as deliver a high-value, expected amenity for municipal residents and visitors. Organizers of the event included Joint Venture Silicon Valley (JVSV), the County of San Mateo (CA), the City of San Leandro (CA), the City of Schenectady (NY), Ruckus Wireless, Verizon Wireless, and the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

Details about the five GCTC SuperClusters are available online. For those who would like to stay informed about a specific SuperCluster, the SuperClusters have established google groups. You can join by clicking:

  • Transportation SuperCluster
  • Public Safety, Emergency, Disaster, Resilience SuperCluster
  • Energy, Water, Waste Management SuperCluster
  • Public WiFi SuperCluster
  • Healthcare SuperCluster

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Transactive Energy Challenge: Phase II Now Underway

With a webinar on April 20, NIST launched Phase II of the NIST Transactive Energy Modeling and Simulation Challenge for the Smart Grid (TE Challenge). The plan and timetable for Phase II were discussed during the webinar and in the “Collaborative Scenario Development” document that can be found in the “Tool Chest” section of the TE Challenge collaboration website.

The goals of the TE Challenge are to identify and advance modeling and simulation tools and platforms that can support analysis of TE systems; to raise awareness of the potential benefits of TE; and to build a community that can work toward applying knowledge gained to TE demonstrations.

Building on the foundational work of Phase I (2015-2016), the second phase will encourage teams to perform simulations of various TE approaches. Although the simulations may involve a variety of approaches, platforms, and grid topologies, the organizers expect that three common factors will be found in each simulation:

  • Use of the common platform model (developed in Phase I)
  • Use of a shared challenge scenario
  • Use of common metrics

TE Challenge participants have begun a series of regular online meetings to advance their common understandings and to set the stage for individual team simulation projects. The first two meetings were held May 9 (slides available online) and May 16 (slides available online), and the next meeting is scheduled for May 30. For those considering participating in the TE Challenge, please use the “Join” or “Get Started” usa-buttons on the TE Challenge collaboration site to communicate with organizers.

TE Challenge participants will hold a face-to-face workshop as part of the Transactive Energy Systems Conference and Workshop (TES) in Portland, Oregon (June 13-15, 2017). Team simulation projects will be carried out in the second half of 2017, and the challenge results will be presented and discussed at an Expo at NIST in early 2018.

Dr. David Holmberg, NIST’s lead for the Challenge, said, “Before, during, and shortly after the TES workshop are excellent times for new individuals and organizations to get involved. We’ll be unveiling and discussing the Challenge Scenario at that workshop.”

The scenario, which is currently being refined in the online meetings, will feature a primarily residential distribution feeder that serves many homes with rooftop solar and also some homes with battery systems. At the beginning of the scenario, sunny conditions produce a very significant amount of solar power. However, as a storm front moves through the area, storm clouds cause a sharp drop in PV output for 90 minutes. As the storm abates, sunny conditions gradually return. The various team simulations will use this scenario to perform a series of simulations that measure—using common metrics—what happens under baseline conditions, in a non-TE environment, and in a TE environment (using team-specific TE models).

Additional details about the TE Challenge—including details on how to participate—are posted on the main TE Challenge page and on the TE Challenge collaboration website.

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NIST Staff Leads Session on the NIST Smart Grid and CPS Testbeds

Researchers from the NIST Smart Grid team presented a panel, “Innovative Research at the NIST Smart Grid Testbed,” at the 2017 IEEE PES Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT 2017) in Arlington, Virginia, on April 26, 2017.

The Smart Grid Interoperability Testbed facility creates a unique set of interconnected and interacting labs performing research in several measurement areas that are key to the development of the smart grid and will accelerate the smart grid interoperability standards that are critical for it. The testbed provides a combined platform for system measurements, characterization of smart grid protocols, and validation of smart grid standards, with an emphasis on local optimization of grid operations and on microgrids.

Chris Greer, Director of the Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical (CPS) Systems Program Office at NIST, welcomed the audience and guided the discussion and questions. Avi Gopstein gave an overview of the Smart Grid Interoperability Testbed. Jerry FitzPatrick discussed how smart sensor and smart meter technologies are being used and studied in the testbed to help mitigate uncertainties in an electric power system that is changing dramatically. Marty Burns introduced the “Universal CPS Environment for Federation (UCEF),” an approach that is being used to integrate the existing Smart Grid Interoperability Testbed with the CPS Testbed (currently under construction). Content from the panel’s slide presentations is available online.

NIST is organizing a workshop on the CPS/UCEF Testbed (NIST campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland, July 27, 2017). Please save the date; more details will be available soon.

For more information on NIST testbeds for smart grid and cyber-physical systems, please contact Paul Boynton, Testbed Manager (paul.boynton [at] (paul[dot]boynton[at]nist[dot]gov)).

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Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) Update (Formerly SGIP Update)


In April 2017, the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) merged with the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) to create an industry-led organization that combines the portfolios of the two organizations. For more details about the merger, please see SEPA’s April 4 news release and SGIP’s January 31 news release.

NIST continues to support the technical work of this organization through NIST staff participation on key committees and priority action plans (PAPs) and through the ongoing cooperative agreement, now with SEPA. A number of NIST staff members will be participating in SEPA’s upcoming Grid Evolution Summit: A National Town Meeting, to be held July 25-27, 2017, in Washington, DC. In addition to various keynotes, panels, and roundtables, the meeting will include both pre-summit and post-summit technical group meetings. The full agenda is available online.

The SEPA (formerly SGIP) Smart Grid Cybersecurity Committee held a May 16 webinar, “A Comparison of How Key Cybersecurity Standards Affect Smart Grid.”  The two speakers were Suzanne Lightman, Senior Information Security Adviser, NIST, and Frances Cleveland, President, Xanthus Consulting International.

In the webinar, speakers compared various cybersecurity standards used worldwide to address power system cybersecurity, including ISO/IEC 27002/27019, NIST IR 7628, and IEC 62443-3-3. An archived recording of the webinar will soon be available online.

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Created August 3, 2017, Updated February 2, 2024