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NIST Smart Grid Update e-newsletter


NIST Smart Grid Update e-newsletter

December 2013

NIST Unveils Preliminary Discussion Draft of Framework 3.0 at SGIP's Inaugural Conference

At SGIP's Inaugural Conference, held Nov. 5-7 in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, NIST provided an overview of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0. The draft Framework 3.0 document is expected to be formally released for public comment in the coming weeks. In his remarks at the opening plenary session, Dr. Chris Greer, Director of NIST's Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, encouraged attendees "to help us shape this discussion document and make sure we get it right." According to Greer, the purpose of the document is to set goals and priorities and to lay out the landscape of smart grid interoperability standards.

Over the course of the three-day conference, NIST staff presented overviews and led discussions about various sections of the Framework document. Copies of some of the presentations are available online at the following web links:

The next few months will bring several more Framework-related events and milestones.

  1. A Federal Register notice will be published in the coming weeks to announce the beginning of the official period during which NIST will receive public comments on the draft document.
  2. A panel session on "NIST Framework: Real-world Applications for the Smart Grid" will be held at the DistribuTECH conference in San Antonio, TX, January 28-30
  3. The final version of Framework 3.0 will be published after NIST responds to and incorporates changes based on the public comments received.

At SGIP's Inaugural Conference, in addition to the sessions dealing specifically with the Framework document, NIST staff also led and participated in a number of other sessions, including:

Webinar on "Accelerating Development of Smart Grid Testing Programs" Planned for December 18

Dean Prochaska, a senior member of NIST's Smart Grid Team and acting chair of SGIP's Smart Grid Testing and Certification Committee (SGTCC), announced that the SGTCC will host a webinar to discuss testing and certification needs and initiatives for smart grid interoperability. The webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18 at 2 p.m. EST.

Prochaska said, "During this webinar, we will discuss approaches to accelerate the development of smart grid testing programs, including a discussion on SGTCC's recent report on priority testing needs. We'll also be seeking stakeholder input to support the SGTCC as we refine the priorities. This is going to be an important part of the SGTCC 2014 work program."

Previous work by NIST and the SGTCC had noted that only a small percentage of smart grid standards have associated testing and certification programs. The SGTCC's report focuses on identifying the priority issues requiring most immediate attention, thus allowing the SGTCC (and SGIP) to direct resources to those testing issues of greatest concern.

"We highly recommend that utilities, as well as vendors and other purchasers of smart grid products and systems, attend this webinar," said Prochaska. The webinar will feature remarks from industry stakeholders already involved in initiatives that address aspects of the report's key findings. These speakers will provide updates on existing or emerging testing activities related to Smart Inverters, Distribution Automation (e.g., IEC 61850), Smart Energy Profile 2.0, and Phasor Measurement Units.

The webinar is open to anyone in the smart grid community. To register for the webinar, please go to If you have any questions, please contact Dean Prochaska (dean.prochaska [at] (dean[dot]prochaska[at]nist[dot]gov)), acting chair, SGTCC.

Presidential Memo Advances Green Button in Government

On December 5, President Obama issued a memorandum directing Federal agencies to redouble efforts to use renewable energy and manage their energy usage more efficiently and effectively. The memorandum instructs agencies to incorporate the Green Button data standard into their energy management practices. In addition, the memorandum sets an ambitious new target for Federal agencies: To increase their consumption of renewable energy to 20% of their total amount of electric energy use by 2020.

The Presidential Memorandum, titled "Federal Leadership on Energy Management," was announced in an article on the White House Blog by Nick Sinai, US Deputy Chief Technology Officer at OSTP, and Matt Theall, Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Department of Energy. The blog article highlighted a number of utilities that have made recent or expanded commitments to Green Button. Sinai and Theall also reported that 48 utilities and electricity suppliers serving more than 59 million homes and businesses have committed to enable their customers with Green Button access.

Sinai and Theall wrote, "Today's announcements mark an exciting next step to expand the adoption of the Green Button data standard and further enable households, businesses, and Federal agencies to use the most innovative apps and services to improve their energy management and achieve sustainability goals. It's good for the environment, good for our national security, and good for the economy."

Dave Wollman, NIST's Green Button lead and Deputy Director of NIST's Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, added that the Green Button for America team, including John Teeter, Presidential Innovation Fellow at NIST, has already started working with other Federal agencies including GSA to support new Green Button pilot efforts. Wollman commented that the memorandum "opens up multiple opportunities for the Federal Government to lead the way in demonstrating benefits of Green Button data availability to support facility energy management." Learn more about the role that NIST and SGIP have played in the development of the Green Button data standard here.

"American Energy Data Challenge" Announced by U.S. Department of Energy

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, on November 6, announced the "American Energy Data Challenge." Over the next year, the U.S. Department of Energy will conduct four contests, which will award over $100,000 in total prizes for the best ideas, apps, and visualizations that use energy data to help address some of America's biggest challenges.

The first of the four challenges, the "Energy Ideas Challenge," will focus on generating new ideas for using energy data to create high-value products, applications, services, and research. The deadline to submit an idea for Contest #1 was November 29, and over 100 ideas were submitted. From December 2-13, the public will be invited to review all submissions and cast their votes for the best ideas. For more details, visit the contest website (

Contests #2-4 will roll out in each of the subsequent quarters. Contest descriptions and rules will be announced at the beginning of each Contest.

The "American Energy Data Challenge" is a follow-up to the highly successful "Apps for Energy" contest held in the spring of 2012. During that contest, DOE awarded $100,000 to software developers for the best new apps that helped utility customers make the most of their Green Button electricity usage data.

The Grand Prize winner for Best Overall Application was "Leafully" (, an application that monitors energy usage, alerts consumers to abnormal consumption, and converts energy usage into meaningful energy units—a tree. The application calculates how many trees it takes to offset the carbon that a consumer's energy produces.

NIST Seeks Public Input—Until December 24—on Updated "NISTIR 7628: Smart Grid Cybersecurity Guidelines"

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is requesting public comments on the first revision to its guidelines for secure implementation of smart grid technology. The draft document, NIST Interagency Report (IR) 7628 Revision 1: Guidelines for Smart Grid Cybersecurity, is the first update to NISTIR 7628 since its initial publication in September 2010. Members of the SGIP's Cybersecurity Working Group (CSWG, 2010-2012) and Smart Grid Cybersecurity Committee (SGCC, 2013) were largely responsible for helping draft this update.

NISTIR 7628 is a three-volume document geared mainly toward cybersecurity specialists. Vol. 1 contains mostly technical material for maintaining the security of the grid, including a reference architecture and high-level security requirements. Vol. 2 addresses privacy issues, containing a discussion of potential privacy issues in smart grid compared to other networked systems. Vol. 3 contains analyses and references that support the document's contents.

Most of the changes in this first revision are minor additions to existing sections of NISTIR 7628, though there is a newly added section in Vol. 2 regarding privacy. While cybersecurity practitioners will most likely be its primary audience, utility commissioners, vendors, and researchers also will find the changes of interest.

The draft version of NISTIR 7628 Revision 1 can be found online. Comments will be accepted until December 24, and can be submitted using an Excel template available at the site. A Federal Register notice announcing the request for comments is available online.

Upcoming Conferences Will Feature Panels on Smart Grid Standards

DistribuTECH Conference, San Antonio, TX, January 28-30, 2014

The DistribuTECH Conference and Exposition is billed as the utility industry's leading annual transmission and distribution event, with an expected 10,000 attendees. A panel session on "NIST Framework: Real-world Applications for the Smart Grid" will bring together stakeholders from across the industry—utilities, manufacturers, standards organizations, and regulators—to discuss their experiences and approaches in using the Framework and explore what value it brings to their respective roles. (See page 77 of conference program for more details.)

ISGT 2014, Washington, DC, February 19-22, 2014

The Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) Conference, sponsored by the IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES), is a forum for participants to discuss state-of-the-art innovations in smart grid technologies and will feature plenary sessions, multi-track panel discussions, technical paper and poster presentations as well as tutorials by international experts on smart grid applications. NIST's George Arnold is the Technical Program Chair, and a number of NIST staff will be presenting at the conference. (For further details, see the conference website.)

Created December 16, 2013, Updated June 27, 2023