The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), part of the U.S. Commerce Department of Commerce, has published a lengthy report detailing its notions about what should be included in the U.S. smart grid. Here's a quick excerpt from the summary:
"The greatest benefit from the smart grid will be interoperability that will open up every aspect of the generation, distribution, and use of energy to innovation. Innovation will create change, and change will increase diversity. Diversity is always, and always will be, one of the greatest challenges not only to initial integration, but to maintenance management and to operational integrity of the grid. ...
The great challenge, then, for Smart Grid interoperability, and for the standards that support it, will be to support diversity and innovation. This requires loosely couple standards that enable shallow integration of diverse technologies. These standards will support diversity of business models through symmetry, transparency, and composition. The standards require enterprise-class cyber security at each interface. These standards are not ready today."
The 300-page report was researched and written by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), using material that it gathered during two public workshops. Apparently, more than 1,000 people have provided input for this report. The agency is accepting public comments and feedback about the content for a period of 30 days; the aggregated information will be used to develop version 1.0 of the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework, which is planned for release in September. Another EPRI standards-development workshop is planned for August to surface specific issues that require further debate.