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Building an electric energy Smart Grid involves proper interfacing between existing devices, applications and systems – all likely sourced from many different vendors. The resulting interoperability allows valuable advantages, such as the ability to use distribution system demand response (DSDR) to improve the efficiency of delivered power. Interoperability enables automated switching sequences, for system ‘self-healing’ and improved reliability, along with effective integration of distributed renewable and non-renewable resources that can enable peak shaving. Interoperability also is vital for assimilating emerging automation technologies that will enable the utility to realize these benefits in the future – and protect public and private sector technology investments.
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) defines international standards, recognized globally, that characterize interoperability and security of electrical, electronic and related technologies. These standards are created to assure interoperability within all the major power system objects in an electrical utility enterprise and allow mission critical distribution functions to take advantage of real-time data in a secure manner. The IEC standards also enable reliable exchange of data among utilities and across power pools.
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is incorporating IEC standards, and developing new or revised standards, to be applied in its development of a Smart Grid as a national energy goal. This standards framework aims to eliminate the implementation of technologies that might become obsolete prematurely or be implemented without necessary security measures – and help utilities make the infrastructure decisions that reduce cost and energy loss, improve network reliability and embrace technology innovation.