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Smart Grid Update Newsletter October 2014


NIST Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Newsletter
October 2014

Welcome from Dr. Chris Greer, Director of NIST's Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office

This issue of our newsletter displays a new and expanded title. We've added "Cyber-Physical Systems" to better reflect the content and direction of NIST's program and the stakeholders we serve.
The significant advances in grid modernization since NIST established its Smart Grid program in 2008 are well-known to most of you by now. The rapidly emerging—and closely related—area of Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) may be a bit less familiar to some of you.

Cyber-physical systems are co-engineered interacting networks of physical and computational components. These "smart" systems—with the smart grid as a leading example—are at the heart of our critical infrastructure and form the basis of future smart services, including the Internet of Things.

In this newsletter, you'll see short articles about our recent activities in both areas. We've designed this newsletter to give you bites of information on timely subjects, with enough details for you to determine if you'd like to dive deeper, using the web links we provide in each article.

We'd welcome your feedback on this format, as well as suggestions on how we can make it even more useful. We also encourage you to forward the newsletter to colleagues, especially those working in the CPS area, so that they can sign up to receive it themselves. (Information on how to start, update, or discontinue your subscription is provided at the bottom of the newsletter.)

As you'll see from the articles in this issue, we're busy, we're excited, and we're having fun. Please join us.

Chris Greer
Director, Smart Grid and Cyber-Physical Systems Program Office

NIST Publishes Final Version of Smart Grid Framework, Release 3.0

A newly updated roadmap for the smart grid is now available from NIST, which just issued the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0. As described in the October 1 press release, Framework 3.0 updates the plan for transforming the nation's aging electric power system into an interoperable smart grid—a network that will integrate information and communication technologies with the power-delivery infrastructure, enabling two-way flows of energy and communications.

The NIST Smart Grid Framework 3.0 responds to recent developments in grid modernization, including advances in architecture, cybersecurity, and testing and certification. The 239-page document includes a detailed list of 74 standards and protocols that have been identified by NIST as supporting interoperability of the smart grid, including seven new standards not previously listed in the 2.0 Framework. Framework 3.0 also reflects the April 2013 operational transition of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) from the government-funded, public-private partnership launched by NIST in December 2009 to an industry-led non-profit organization.

With this third edition of the framework and roadmap, NIST continues to carry out the role assigned in the "Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA)," where NIST was given "primary responsibility to coordinate development of a framework that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of Smart Grid devices and systems..."
NIST began working on this assignment in 2008, and Release 1.0 of the Framework and Roadmap was published in January 2010. Release 2.0 was published in February 2012. A draft of Release 3.0 was released for public comment in April 2014, and the final version released this week incorporates NIST's review of those comments.

The PDF version of the complete Framework 3.0 document is available online. A "Beginner's Guide to Framework 3.0," which provides a high-level, non-technical description of Framework 3.0, is now also available online.

NIST Hosts September 29-30 Kick-off Workshop for Global Cities Team Challenge

A two-day workshop brought nearly 200 city planners and representatives from technology companies, academic institutions, and non-profits to NIST to launch the Global Cities Team Challenge. The Challenge, an expansion of last year's highly successful SmartAmerica Challenge, aims to foster the spread of "smart cities" that use Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) technologies to better manage resources and improve citizens' quality of life.

Smart cities rely on effective networking of computer systems and physical devices. These IoT and CPS technologies, systems, and networks currently account for more than $32 trillion in global economic activity, a number that is projected to grow significantly in the coming decade.

NIST, in partnership with U.S. Ignite and a dozen other federal agencies and technology companies, expects that the year-long challenge will help communities around the world work together to address issues ranging from health care and advanced manufacturing to traffic management and emergency services coordination.

The Global City Teams Challenge, which is open to all, encourages partnerships between cities and other communities, on the one hand, with our best and brightest innovators on the other hand. At the recent workshop, 16 new teams were formed to work on topics ranging from air quality, street lighting, and shortened emergency response times to privacy, utility infrastructure, and energy efficiency. Over the next year, these teams—and others that will be formed in the coming weeks—will demonstrate technology and interoperability standards that reduce the time and costs of smart cities initiatives, smoothing the way for others in the future.

The live webcast of the workshop attracted virtual attendees from around the world. For more information on participating in the Challenge and to receive updates, please visit the Global City Teams Challenge website hosted by U.S. Ignite.

NIST Launches Cyber-Physical Systems Public Working Group at August Workshop

On August 11-12, NIST hosted the first face-to-face meeting of the Cyber-Physical Systems Public Working Group (CPS PWG). The group was formed earlier this year to bring together experts to help define and shape key aspects of CPS in order to accelerate its development and implementation within multiple sectors of our economy.

The initial work of the group is being carried out in five subgroups:

    • Vocabulary and Reference Architecture
    • Use Cases
    • Timing and Synchronization
    • Cybersecurity and Privacy
    • Data Interoperability

Each subgroup is led by three co-chairs—from industry, academia, and NIST. All subgroups are now meeting on a bi-weekly basis in virtual meetings, with an initial goal that each subgroup produce a draft report by November 1. A second face-to-face meeting of the CPS PWG will be held at NIST Gaithersburg, Maryland on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 through Wednesday, April 8, 2015.

The CPS PWG is open to all, and participants may choose to be members of one or more sub-groups. For more information on joining a sub-group mailing list and participating in the virtual meetings, please visit the CPS collaboration website at

The August workshop, held in Gaithersburg, MD, was attended by approximately 150 experts from industry, academia, and government. Its purpose was to develop consensus around the scope, milestones, and work program for the CPS PWG and its subgroups. A webcast of the plenary sessions of the workshop is available at

SGIP Update

  • A webinar on "Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) – The Impacts of the Changing Electromagnetic Environment on the Advancement of Interoperability" is scheduled for Thursday, October 9, 1-2 p.m., EDT. Galen Koepke, from NIST's Electromagnetics Division and the chair of SGIP's Electromagnetic Interoperability Issues Working Group (EMIIWG), will be one of the presenters. Registration information is available online.
  • SGIP held its 2014 Annual Conference and Fall Members Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, September 15-18, 2014. A number of NIST staff served as meeting leaders, presenters, and panelists. Meeting highlights and presentation summaries are available online.
  • SGIP's Winter Members Meeting will be held in Portland, Oregon, December 8-9, 2014. The meeting agenda and registration details are available online.
  • SGIP announced that two new entries to the Catalog of Standards were approved by the membership on September 22. This brings the number of entries to 70.
    • Recommended Practice for the Installation of Smart Grid Devices (CEA-CEDIA-CEB29) -- This standard was developed to provide a basic understanding of the issues related to proper installation and protection of smart grid devices and the systems they connect to, with particular attention being given to electromagnetic compatibility issues.
    • Guidelines for Assessing Wireless Standards for Smart Grid Applications (NISTIR 7761, V1) -- This guide contains key tools and methods to assist smart grid system designers in making informed decisions about existing and emerging wireless technologies.

Recent NIST Publications

In addition to the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0 (see above), the following smart grid-related publications are now available:

Created October 3, 2014, Updated June 27, 2023