NIST Advances Grid Modernization

NIST Advances Grid Modernization

This piece was originally published in the January/February 2019 issue of electroindustry.

Brian Marchionini, PMP, Senior Program Manager, NEMA

Smart grid devices, systems, and applications require extensive data exchange, necessitating well-defined interfaces to transfer and translate this data from point to point across the grid.

Clarifying the communications protocol and data model performance requirements is essential to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and its ongoing update of the Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards (see infographic below).

NIST has published three framework  and roadmap versions to date. Version 1.0, published  in 2010, identified gaps in Standards. Versions 2.0 and 3.0, published in 2012 and 2014, respectively, were progress updates for these Standards gaps. With the assistance of NEMA and other industry leaders, NIST is developing Version 4.0 to advance grid modernization. One of the drivers for the update is to incorporate technology advancements.

The primary mechanism for developing new content for Version 4.0 is a series of regional workshops,1 each of which will examine a conceptual model relevant to that region. The NIST Smart Grid Conceptual  Model  describes the overall composition of electrical grid systems and applications. Originally introduced in the  first NIST framework, the model is updated with each revision. The model update in Version 4.0 reflects large increases in the number and types of distributed energy resources used throughout the grid, the increasing importance and automation  of distribution systems, and the role of service providers in the distribution system. An example of the conceptual model can be found on the NIST site.

Stakeholders attending these workshops will have an opportunity to provide input that will affect  the content of Version 4.0. In addition, a draft of Version 4.0 is expected to be released in early 2019, and a formal public comment period will follow. NEMA will coordinate Member comments.

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