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NIST releases update to smart grid framework

The US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released an updated roadmap for public comment for Smart Grid interoperability. The NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0, adds 22 standards, specifications and guidelines to the 75 NIST recommended as immediately applicable to the Smart Grid in the first roadmap, released in January 2010 report. (Earlier post.)

NIST’s first outline, Release 1.0, laid out an initial 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 a power-delivery infrastructure, enabling two-way flows of energy and communications.

New to the 2.0 version is a chapter on the roles of the Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP), an organization created by NIST in November 2009 to provide an open forum for members to collaborate on standards development. More than 700 organizations are now members of the SGIP, which recently made the first six entries into its Catalog of Standards, a technical document for those involved with developing grid-connected devices. Eventually, hundreds of such standards will be entered into the Catalog, which is also described in the SGIP chapter.

Further improvements and additions to the original document include:

  • 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;

  • a new framework for testing the conformity of devices and systems to be connected to the Smart Grid—the Interoperability Process Reference Manual;

  • 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.

The request for public comment on NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 2.0, is available from the Federal Register and will be open for public comment until 5:00 PM Eastern time on 25 Nov. 2011.



Like other wired systems (cable, telephone) wired electric energy will be replaced with newer, more efficient local technologies. Communications via high voltage power lines through transformers, switches, circuit breakers - is an engineering nightmare. The smart grid is simply unnecessary in this world.

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