Standards Written to Accelerate Smart Grid
Sep 28, 2009
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The plan for accelerating the development of the U.S. Smart Grid, unveiled in Washington, DC, puts a high priority on the Advanced Metering Infrastructure that will allow customers and utilities to monitor energy usage in real-time and to remotely control appliances and heating and air-conditioning systems to achieve utility discounts.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke unveiled an accelerated plan for developing standards to transform the U.S. power distribution system into a secure, more efficient and environmentally friendly Smart Grid and create clean-energy jobs.

The document identifies about 80 initial standards that will enable the vast number of interconnected devices and systems that will make up the nationwide Smart Grid to communicate and work with each other. The standards will support interoperability of all the various pieces of the system, ranging from large utility companies down to individual homes and electronic devices. The report also lists a set of 14 "priority action plans" that address the most important gaps in the initial standard set.

According to George Arnold, NIST’s National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability, finalizing the standards will ensure that the grid transformation goes both smoothly and rapidly—a priority of the Obama Administration. About $4.5 billion of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) funds to the Department of Energy also are slated for Smart Grid demonstration projects.

When completed, the Smart Grid will employ real-time, two-way digital information and communication technologies in the operation of the nation’s electricity grid. The system would allow consumers to better manage and control their energy use and costs, reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and create clean-energy jobs.

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