November 2010

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Collaboration Fuels Smart Grid Progress

Major Industry Players Get Behind OpenADR Alliance

Anto Budiardjo
President & CEO,
Clasma Events Inc.

Contributing Editor

Recently, a group of major Smart Grid organizations and players announced the formation of the OpenADR Alliance – a nonprofit corporation created to foster the development, adoption and compliance of a Smart Grid standard known as Open Automated Demand Response (OpenADR). By name, those heavy hitters include Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Southern California Edison, Honeywell, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab).

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Why is this formation significant? Not only because a standard for Automated Demand Response (Auto-DR) will ultimately lower the cost, improve the reliability and accelerate the speed of Auto-DR and Smart Grid implementations across the globe, but also because of the important role collaboration played in this group’s formation.

At ConnectivityWeek in 2008, Mary Ann Piette, of Berkeley Lab, worked with Clasma Events to put together an OpenADR workshop to help gather utilities, control vendors, researchers and standards organizations in one room to begin driving awareness and garnering support for OpenADR. Just last week at GridWeek, we recognized the work of Sila Kiliccote, also of Berkeley Lab, With the GridWeek Acceleration Award for her research and work in promoting standards-based secure communications for new Smart Grid demand response applications.

These collaborative outreach efforts have helped give birth to the OpenADR Alliance. Of course, collaboration only works when multiple stakeholder groups stand to benefit. In the case of this new Alliance, the beneficiaries span far and wide, including utilities, control vendors, consumers and almost any group with a stake in Smart Grid.

OpenADR standardizes the Auto-DR message format so communications can be delivered in an interoperable data model. Like all interoperable Smart Grid standards, OpenADR will accelerate implementation of Auto-DR and Smart Grid by:

According to the Alliance, there are more than 60 control vendors internationally that have implemented OpenADR, but until today, there has not been an organization in place responsible for education, training, testing and certification.

National standards work will be built upon the OpenADR specifications published by Berkeley Lab and funded by the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program. OpenADR is being further developed through the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) Smart Grid-standards effort, along with organizations including: Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), the Utilities Communications Architecture International User’s Group (UCAIug), and the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB). 

“The OpenADR Alliance fills an important gap in OpenADR implementation by providing a collaborative environment among key industry stakeholders to foster rapid deployment of a much-needed Smart Grid standard,” said Barry Haaser, managing director of the OpenADR Alliance. “We do not intend to create new standards, but to leverage the extensive body of work on OpenADR already established by LBNL, NAESB, OASIS and UCAIug.”

I am thrilled to see another organization coming together to drive Smart Grid progress through collaboration. I hope the formation of this group sets an example for organizations coming together at this December’s Grid-Interop, the annual event focused on Smart Grid interoperability and standards, where a broad audience from both the technical and government community join forces to accelerate Smart Grid progress.



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