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Smart Grid Update Newsletter February 2014

NIST Smart Grid Update e-newsletter

February 2014

NIST to Host March 13-14 Workshop on Next-Generation Smart Grid Testbeds

To achieve the full potential of the evolving smart grid, laboratories in industry, academia, and government are developing dedicated testbeds to characterize smart grid equipment and systems and to validate smart grid performance and standards. However, these efforts tend to focus on isolated aspects of smart grid characterization and measurement. Well-developed and highly integrated testbeds are needed to more fully characterize the smart grid and to measure a complete spectrum of performance parameters.

To address this critical need, the NIST Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office is sponsoring a workshop for smart grid-related experts on March 13-14, 2014, at the NIST Gaithersburg, MD campus. The workshop, "Measurement Challenges and Opportunities in Developing Smart Grid Testbeds," will focus on the discussion of three fundamental topics confronting next-generation smart grid testbeds:

  • Important smart grid measurement/characterization problems that are not currently addressed by testbeds;
  • Attributes and design of composable/modular smart grid testbeds; and
  • Design/considerations for interconnected smart grid testbeds.

Members of the smart grid community will find the workshop particularly useful in their efforts to develop next-generation smart grid testbeds that will resolve issues of equipment interoperability and validation of measurement methodologies for interoperability standards.

Information, agenda, and registration for the workshop are available at There is a $75 registration fee to cover refreshments and incidentals. Registration closes on March 5.

NIST Leads Expert Panel at DistribuTECH 2014, "NIST Framework: Real-world Applications for the Smart Grid"

The DistribuTECH Conference and Exposition, held three weeks ago in San Antonio, attracted more than 10,000 attendees from 66 countries, with a record-setting exposition featuring more than 475 exhibiting companies. A panel session on "NIST Framework: Real-world Applications for the Smart Grid" brought 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.

Among the uses discussed were the following:

  • Utilities, vendors, manufacturers, and international standards groups have adopted, adapted, and leveraged the architecture of the NIST smart grid conceptual model as the starting point for developing their own smart grid deployment plans, roadmaps, and architectures.
  • Regulators and utilities have used the Framework—with its vision, definitions, principles, functions, and lists of standards—as the neutral common ground for discussions, consensus-building, and decision-making.
  • The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP)—with its Priority Action Plans (PAPs), standing committees, various working groups, and Catalog of Standards—was founded and further developed based on structures, functions, and policies outlined in the NIST Framework documents.
  • Many organizations have looked to the Framework—and the ensuing publications it has initiated—for guidance on issues related to cybersecurity and to testing and certification.

The panel included the following individuals:

  • Chris L. Greer (Moderator), Director, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Ron Ambrosio, Chief Technology Officer, Smarter Energy Research, IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center
  • John Caskey, Director, Power Equipment Division, National Electrical Manufacturers Assoc. (NEMA)
  • Lee Krevat, Director, Smart Grid and Clean Transportation, San Diego Gas and Electric
  • Chris Villarreal, Senior Regulatory Analyst, California Public Utilities Commission
  • David Wollman, Deputy Director, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office, National Institute of Standards and Technology

Upcoming Conferences to Feature NIST Speakers, Booth

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. The conference 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.)

ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit, Washington, DC, February 24-26, 2014

The ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit—hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)—is the premier event dedicated to transformative energy solutions. This event brings together thought leaders from academia, business, and government to discuss cutting-edge energy issues and facilitate relationships to help move technologies into the marketplace. NIST is a Technology Development Partner for the summit, and will have a booth (Booth #304)at the Technology Showcase. (For further details, see the conference website.)

IEEE PES Transmission & Distribution Conference & Exposition in Chicago, Illinois, April 14–17, 2014.

The Power & Energy Society (PES) provides the world's largest forum for sharing the latest in technological developments in the electric power industry, for developing standards that guide the development and construction of equipment and systems, and for educating members of the industry and the general public. This year's conference includes a celebration of the organization's first fifty years of ideas, growth, and success—and a look forward at the next fifty years of innovation. NIST staff are participants and presenters at a tutorial on "Implementation of Synchrophasor Systems" on Monday, April 14.

Energy Department Launches Second Contest of the American Energy Data Challenge

On January 16, Patricia Hoffman, Assistant Secretary, Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability announced the launch of the second contest in the challenge: Apps for Energy II. In Contest #2, which runs through Mar. 2014, participants are invited to use featured Department of Energy data, standards (including the Green Button standard), and ideas to develop apps that solve real world energy problems.

Participants can develop apps on their own or join forces with other developers and designers at a series of upcoming "hackathons"—events where contestants can meet others, brainstorm ideas, form teams, and start working on apps that could potentially benefit millions of American energy consumers. Four hackathons to support Contest #2 have been held in recent weeks—in Washington, D.C. (Jan.24-25); San Diego, CA (Jan. 31-Feb. 1); Valley Forge, PA (Feb. 7-8); and Boston, MA (Feb. 15-16). A fifth hackathon is currently being planned for Los Angeles, CA, on Mar. 7-8 at UCLA.NIST has supported the creation of a developer's sandbox for use by hackathon participants, apps developers, and others. This tool provides the coders a reference against which to build their software and provides "live" functionality. Anonymized sample data are available through this sandbox for various household structures and environments.

Contestants can win prizes at their local hackathon and/or by submitting their app any time between Jan. 17 and Mar. 9 for judging as part of this nationwide contest. Distinguished judges will select overall winners in multiple categories and a "People's Choice Award" will be chosen. Grand prize winners will be announced in late March.

After this round, there will be two more opportunities to participate and win prizes. Contest #3—Energy Data by Design—will launch in April and conclude in June. Contest #4—The American Energy Challenge—will launch in July and conclude in October. Contest #1 invited the public to submit ideas for high-value energy data exploration, data sets they wished were available, and ideas for killer apps using available energy data. Over 100 ideas were submitted and winners were announced on Dec. 19, 2013.

Visit to learn more about the American Energy Data Challenge and the four contests.

Created February 19, 2014, Updated June 27, 2023