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NIST Updates Smart Grid Framework to Include New Standards and Guidance

Smart Grid

November 02, 2011

NIST Updates Smart Grid Framework to Include New Standards and Guidance

By Rajani Baburajan
TMCnet Contributor

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the release of an updated roadmap for smart grid interoperability for public comment.

The NIST Framework and Roadmap for smart grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0 includes an expanded list of standards, new cybersecurity guidance and product testing proposals. The Release 2.0, builds upon and updates a January 2010 report.

Release 1.0, the first outline, laid out an initial plan for transforming the nation's aging electric power system into an interoperable smart grid that will integrate information and communication technologies with a power-delivery infrastructure, enabling two-way flows of energy and communications.

“Making such dramatic changes to the power grid requires an overarching vision of how to accomplish the task, and this updated Framework advances that vision,” said NIST's George Arnold, the national coordinator for smart grid Interoperability, in a statement.

Because the smart grid will be a highly complex system of interacting systems, it is important that different stakeholders in the new grid have a common understanding of its major building blocks and how they interrelate. The new framework will provide essential information to utilities, manufacturers, equipment testers and regulators.

Release 2.0 includes additional 22 standards, specifications and guidelines to the 75 NIST recommended as immediately applicable to the smart grid in the first roadmap.  A new chapter is introduced on the roles of the smart grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), which provides an open forum for members to collaborate on standards development.

Additionally Release 2.0 includes an expanded view of the architecture of the Smart Grid, a number of developments related to ensuring cybersecurity for the smart grid, including a Risk Management Framework to provide guidance on security practices, and a new framework for testing the conformity of devices and systems to be connected to the smart grid - the Interoperability Process Reference Manual.

NIST  Framework and Roadmap for smart grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0 delivers information on efforts to coordinate the smart grid standards effort for the United States with similar efforts in other parts of the world; and an overview of future areas of work, including electromagnetic disturbance and interference, and improvements to the SGIP processes.

Recently NIST awarded a smart grid contract to EnerNex, a leading provider of engineering and consulting services. Both the organizations will work for smart grid interoperability standards development, and enable widespread deployment of an interoperable and secure smart grid.

Rajani Baburajan is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Rajani's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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