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NIST Develops Interoperability Profile for Distributed Energy Resources and Grid Integration

Solar and wind power

With the increasing use of distributed energy resources (DER) – solar, wind, and more – to generate power, organizations have developed standards for their integration with the grid. These include:

  • IEEE 1547: Defines functional requirements for DER interconnection in varying power conditions
  • IEC 61850-7-420: Integrates DER functions into communications networks in substation's automation systems

A new NIST publication proposes an interoperability profile and mapping based on these standards. Specifically, IEC 61850 Profile for Distributed Energy Resources Supporting IEEE 1547 defines a path – an interoperability profile – for implementing both standards. NIST researchers worked with grid and DER stakeholders to map a set of IEEE 1547's functional requirements to the communication and data requirements in IEC 61850-7-420. The resulting interoperability profile:

  • Reduces the complexity of meeting these standards
  • Facilitates DER integration with the grid
  • Improves interoperability between DER and substations' automation and control systems
  • Helps vendors implement inverter controllers without detailed knowledge of IEC 61850-7-420
  • Provides a template for developing IEC 61850 profiles to meet other users' requirements
  • Simplifies and improves testing and certification
  • Helps develop vendor-independent engineering, testing, and maintenance tools for microgrids and other systems with large numbers of inverter-based DERs

The development of this interoperability profile followed the general process which is described in NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 4.0. Notably, the process focuses on existing standards and clarifies their implementation. The interoperability profile offers an efficient and targeted way of achieving interoperability.

Released July 1, 2022, Updated September 16, 2022