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Standards Development Plan for 'Smart Grid' Announced

On Sept. 24, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced an accelerated plan for developing standards to transform the U.S. power distribution system into a 'Smart Grid' that would be more secure, more efficient and environmentally friendly, and create clean-energy jobs.

"To use an analogy from the construction world, this report is like a designer's first detailed drawing of a complex structure," said Locke, "It presents a high-level conceptual model to ensure that everyone is on the same page before moving forward to develop more detailed, formal Smart Grid architectures. This high-level model is critical to help plan where to go next."

Produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the document identifies about 80 initial standards that will enable the vast number of interconnected devices and systems that will make up the nationwide Smart Grid to communicate and work with each other. These standards will support interoperability of all the various pieces of the system—ranging from large utility companies down to individual homes and electronic devices. The report also lists a set of 14 "priority action plans" that address the most important gaps in the initial standard set.

When completed, the Smart Grid will employ real-time, two-way digital information and communication technologies in the operation of the nation's electricity grid. The system would allow consumers to better manage and control their energy use and costs, reduce America's dependence on foreign oil and create clean-energy jobs.

The draft report, entitled NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0, incorporates input from more than 1,500 industry, government and other stakeholders who have participated in the NIST framework development process. The companion draft document, NISTIR 7628 Smart Grid Cyber Security Strategy and Requirements, was prepared by an expert task group now composed of more than 200 volunteers. Both reports can be downloaded from the NIST Smart Grid web site at: Opportunities for review and comment on each report will be announced in separate Federal Register notices on Oct. 9.

For more information, see the Sept. 24 news release "Commerce Secretary Unveils Plan for Smart Grid Interoperability."

Released October 6, 2009, Updated February 1, 2023