The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has advised the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that it has identified five "foundational" sets of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security that are ready for consideration by federal and state energy regulators.
The standards, produced by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), focus on the information models and protocols important to efficient and reliable grid operations as well as cyber security.
In a letter to FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, NIST's National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability, George Arnold, said the standards "are essential to uniform and interoperable communication systems throughout the grid and will accommodate the evolution of the grid and the integration of new technologies."
The five families of IEC standards will further efforts to achieve efficient and secure intersystem communications, among other FERC priorities identified in the commission's July 16, 2009, Smart Grid Policy Statement. These standards will be updated as Smart Grid requirements and technologies evolve. The standards and their functions are:
- IEC 61970 and IEC 61968: Providing a Common Information Model (CIM), necessary for exchanges of data between devices and networks, primarily in the transmission (IEC 61970) and distribution (IEC 61968) domains.
- IEC 61850: Facilitating substation automation and communication as well as interoperability through a common data format.
- IEC 60870-6: Facilitating exchanges of information between control centers.
- IEC 62351: Addressing the cyber security of the communication protocols defined by the preceding IEC standards.
The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 directed NIST to coordinate development of communication protocols and other standards to achieve an interoperable Smart Grid—a nationwide electric power system that enables two-way flows of energy and information. Under EISA, once it determines sufficient consensus has been achieved, FERC is charged with instituting rulemaking proceedings to adopt the standards necessary to ensure Smart Grid functionality and interoperability.
For more details, see the Oct. 7, 2010, news release, "NIST Identifies Five "Foundational" Smart Grid Standards."