U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu yesterday announced significant progress that will help expedite development of a nationwide “smart” electric power grid.

A Smart Grid would replace the current, outdated system and employ real-time, two-way communication technologies to allow users to connect directly with power suppliers. The development of the grid will create jobs and spur the development of innovative products that can be exported. Once implemented, the Smart Grid is expected to save consumers money and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil by improving efficiency and spurring the use of renewable energy sources.

Before it can be constructed, however, there needs to be agreement on standards for the devices that will connect the grid.
After chairing a meeting of industry leaders at the White House, Locke and Chu announced the first set of standards that are needed for the interoperability and security of the Smart Grid and $10 million in Recovery Act funds provided by the Energy Department to the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to support the development of interoperability standards.

Secretary Chu also announced that based on feedback from the public and Smart Grid stakeholders, the Department of Energy is increasing the maximum award available under the Recovery Act for Smart Grid programs. The maximum award available under the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program will be increased from $20 million to $200 million and for the Smart Grid Demonstration Projects from $40 million to $100 million. In making awards, DOE will ensure that funding is provided to a diversity of applications, including small projects as well as end-to-end larger projects.

“President Obama has made a smart electrical grid a key element of his plan to lower energy costs for consumers, achieve energy independence and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Secretary Locke said. “Today, we took a significant step toward developing the standards necessary to realize the Smart Grid vision.”

“The Smart Grid is an urgent national priority that requires all levels of government as well as industry to cooperate,” Secretary Chu said. “I'm pleased that industry leaders stepped forward today and are working with us to get consensus. We still have much to do, but the ultimate result will be a much more efficient, flexible power grid and the opportunity to dramatically increase our use of renewable energy.”

This meeting was designed to encourage industry executives to work to expedite the adoption of standards in advance of a major two-day, public standards workshop tomorrow in metro Washington, DC.

The initial batch of 16 National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)-recognized interoperability standards announced today will help ensure that software and hardware components from different vendors will work together seamlessly, while securing the grid against disruptions.
Spanning areas ranging from smart customer meters to distributed power generation components to cybersecurity, the list of standards is based on the consensus expressed by participants in the first public Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Interim Roadmap workshop, held April 28-29 in Reston, Va.

The Energy Department also announced that the $10 million it received to support the development of interoperability standards under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has been transferred to NIST to help accelerate their efforts to coordinate these critical standards.

Public comments on the initial standards will be accepted for 30 days after their upcoming publication in the Federal Register. The date of publication will be posted on http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/.

Initial Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework, Release 1.0

Standard

Application

AMI-SEC System Security Requirements

Advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and Smart Grid end-to-end security

ANSI C12.19/MC1219

Revenue metering information model

BACnet ANSI ASHRAE 135-2008/ISO 16484-5

Building automation

DNP3

Substation and feeder device automation

IEC 60870-6 / TASE.2

Inter-control center communications

IEC 61850

Substation automation and protection

IEC 61968/61970

Application level energy management system interfaces

IEC 62351 Parts 1-8

Information security for power system control operations

IEEE C37.118

Phasor measurement unit (PMU) communications

IEEE 1547

Physical and electrical interconnections between utility and distributed generation (DG)

IEEE 1686-2007

Security for intelligent electronic devices (IEDs)

NERC CIP 002-009

Cyber security standards for the bulk power system

NIST Special Publication (SP) 800-53, NIST SP 800-82

Cyber security standards and guidelines for federal information systems, including those for the bulk power system

Open Automated Demand Response (Open ADR)

Price responsive and direct load control

OpenHAN

Home Area Network device communication, measurement, and control

ZigBee/HomePlug Smart Energy Profile

Home Area Network (HAN) Device Communications and Information Model