Executives agree to accelerate smart grid standards implementation in U.S.

Smart grid leadership meeting, called for by U.S. Secretaries of Energy and Commerce, leads to technology and service offerings from power industry vendors.


A special smart grid leadership meeting kicked off the May 18, 2009, National Institute of Standards (NIST) Smart Grid Standards Interoperability Roadmap Summit in Washington, D.C. NIST has been charged with coordinating standards bodies for development of the national smart grid .

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu

U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu

The meeting, by called by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, hosted 60 executives from utilities, technology providers, trade associations, and standards development organizations. The executives were invited to attend and share their visions for turning the challenge of standards development into a roadmap for successful smart grid implementation.
A smart grid would replace the current electrical grid system and employ real-time, two-way communication technologies to allow users to connect directly with power suppliers. Before it can be constructed, however, there needs to be agreement on standards for the devices that will connect the grid.
The initial batch of 16 NIST-recognized interoperability standards announced at the leadership meeting 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. Click here to view the full list standards.
During the leadership meeting of power executives,f open protocols and systems are necessary for the U.S. to properly develop the emerging smart grid.” He also offered ABB’s help in providing “innovative products, systems and technologies, to provide direction and guide this effort.”
Bob Gilligan, vice president of transmission and distribution for GE Energy, offered to share GE’s global experience in the energy industry to help lead the development of smart grid standards in the United States.
“Standardizing technology is vital to ensure cybersecurity, interoperability, reliability and safety for consumers and utilities as the nation begins implementation of a smarter electrical infrastructure,” said Gilligan. “Unambiguous standards will help speed up innovation as engineers follow a clear direction for product development and technology advances.”
During the meeting, Secretary Chu 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.
– Edited by David Greenfield , editorial director

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