NIST Issues First Release of Framework for Smart Grid Interoperability

January 21, 2010 by Jeff Shepard

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued an initial list of standards, a preliminary cyber security strategy, and other elements of a framework to support transforming the nation’s aging electric power system into an interoperable Smart Grid.

NIST Director Patrick Gallagher announced the publication of the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 1.0.

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA) set development of the Smart Grid as a national policy goal, and it assigned NIST the "primary responsibility to coordinate development of a framework that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of Smart Grid devices and systems.&quot.

"This is an important milestone for NIST, for the entire community of Smart Grid stakeholders, and for the nation," Gallagher said. "This first installment of the Smart Grid interoperability framework will pay dividends to our nation for decades to come. Just as Congress intended, we are building a foundation for sustainable growth and future prosperity."

By integrating digital computing and communication technologies and services with the power-delivery infrastructure, the Smart Grid will enable bidirectional flows of energy and two-way communication and control capabilities. A range of new applications and capabilities will result. Anticipated benefits range from real-time consumer control over energy usage to significantly increased reliance on solar and other sources of clean renewable energy to greatly improve reliability, flexibility and efficiency of the entire grid.

The new report presents the first release of a Smart Grid interoperability framework and roadmap for its further development. It contains: a conceptual reference model to facilitate design of an architecture for the Smart Grid overall and for its networked domains; an initial set of 75 standards identified as applicable to the Smart Grid; priorities for additional standards – revised or new – to resolve important gaps; action plans under which designated standards-setting organizations will address these priorities; and an initial Smart Grid cyber security strategy and associated requirements.

A draft of the report was issued on Sept. 24, 2009, for public review and comments. More than 80 individuals and organizations submitted comments.