US government agency, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), has unveiled initial interoperability standards for a US smart grid.
NIST was charged earlier in the year under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to transform the country’s power distribution network into a secure, more efficient and environmentally friendly smart grid.
Its first act has been to release a report setting out an initial set of 80 interoperability standards for the vast array of interconnected devices and systems that will have to communicate with each other in a smart grid.
“This report is like a designer’s first detailed drawing of a complex structure,” explains Commerce Secretary Gary Locke. “It presents a high-level conceptual model to ensure that everyone is on the same page before moving forward to develop more detailed, formal smart grid architectures.”
The NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards also outlines 14 ‘priority action plans’ to fill in gaps where revised standards are needed, for example to include plug-in electric vehicles or home energy management systems in the smart grid.
The draft plans will be open for public comments for 30 days before being finalized.