July 2009


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Short Fuse and the Road Map

NIST Seeks Comments on Smart Grid Report


The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is accepting public comments on a report that identifies issues and proposes priorities for developing interoperability standards for a “smart” electric power grid.

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In a Federal Register notice, published on June 30, NIST formally announced the availability the nearly 300-page report, prepared, under contract, by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

Comments should reference the Federal Register notice and must be received on or before July 30, 2009. Written comments may be sent to: George Arnold, 100 Bureau Drive, Stop 8100, NIST, Gaithersburg, MD 20899-8100. Electronic comments may be sent to: smartgridcomments@nist.gov

Under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007, NIST has “primary responsibility to coordinate development of a framework that includes protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems…”

NIST will use the EPRI report (available at: http://www.nist.gov/smartgrid/) in drafting the NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework. The NIST document will describe a high-level architecture, identify an initial set of key standards, and provide a roadmap for developing new or revised standards needed to realize the Smart Grid. The first release of NIST-prepared framework is planned to be available in September.

Distributed generation and distributed storage of energy are critical parts of the Smart Grid vision. Buildings may be both producers and consumers and energy, and intermittent power sources, such as wind and solar, will account for growing shares of the energy supply. Distributed generation will make energy flows on the Smart Grid more complex than today, posing difficult challenges for managing power reliability and quality. Through demand-response and dynamic-pricing mechanisms, owners of commercial and residential buildings will be able to respond to time-based price signals that encourage them to reduce or shift energy usage during peak demand periods, when rates are highest. These and other Smart Grid capabilities are anticipated to spur innovation in energy-related building technologies.

NIST is working closely with the Department of Energy, the lead agency in the federal Smart Grid effort.



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