Group to develop smart grid standards

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) professional society is launching an effort to develop common and interoperable standards for smart grid technologies, the institute announced May 4.

IEEE and Intel Corp. said they will host an open meeting to begin the standards process at Intel's headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif., from June 3 to June 5.

Smart grid technologies are devices, software and systems that can be used to integrate and communicate between electric power systems and other systems for greater efficiency, lower cost of operation and greater reliability. The economic stimulus law includes $4.5 billion for development of smart grid systems.

Advancing smart electric grids will involve integrating energy technology and information and communications technologies. The result will be a two-way power flow with communication and controls, according to a statement from IEEE.

IEEE’s standards-making process for the smart grid is sponsored by the institute’s coordinating committee and chaired by Dick DeBlasio, a program manager at the National Renewable Energy Lab facility at the Energy Department. DeBlasio also serves as the institute’s smart grid liaison to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). NIST announced a three-step plan April 16 to coordinate with stakeholders to develop key standards for the smart grid.

Meanwhile, the House and Senate are considering several bills to improve cybersecurity for smart grid technologies. Smart grid security legislation was introduced on April 30 by Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairmen of the Senate and House homeland security committees. A separate bill on smart grid cyber protections was introduced April 29 by Rep. John Barrow ( D-Ga.) and co-sponsored by the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.