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Three-Phase Plan for Smart Grid Standards

Published: Monday, April 20, 2009 - 13:36

(NIST: Gaithersburg, Maryland) -- The U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has announced a three-phase plan to expedite development of key standards for a smart grid, a nationwide network that uses information technology to deliver electricity. The recently passed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contains investments critical to spurring the smart grid development process.

“The smart grid will create green jobs and stand as a cornerstone of the national effort to achieve energy independence and curb the emissions changing our climate,” says Patrick Gallagher, NIST's deputy director. “We are working with a sense of urgency to expedite the development of standards critical to ensuring a reliable and robust smart grid.”

On January 8, 2009, in a speech announcing his recovery and reinvestment plan, then President-elect Obama made the transition to the smart grid a high priority in his strategy to move the nation toward energy independence. The Department of Energy is the lead agency on the federal smart grid effort and NIST is charged with coordinating the development of standards for the project.

NIST’s three-phase approach will further engage utilities, equipment suppliers, consumers, standards developers, and other stakeholders to achieve consensus on smart grid standards. This process will include a stakeholders’ summit that is scheduled for May 19–20, in Washington, D.C. By early fall, the process will deliver the smart grid architecture; priorities for interoperability and cyber-security standards, and an initial set of standards to support implementation; and plans to meet remaining standards' needs. It will launch a formal partnership to facilitate development of additional standards to address remaining gaps and integrate new technologies, and develop a plan for testing and certification to ensure that smart grid equipment and systems conform to standards for security and interoperability.

After the initial set of priorities, standards, and action plans is issued in early fall, NIST will initiate a partnership and complete a testing-and-certification plan by the end of the year.

For more information, visit www.nist.gov/public_affairs/smartgrid_041309.html


About The Author

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Founded in 1901, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a nonregulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. Headquartered in Gaithersburg, Maryland, NIST’s mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.