Sunday, December 13, 2009

Who Is and Is Not Making Smart Grid Standards

One organization at the center of Smart Grid standards formulation wants to be clear about one thing you may find less than intuitive. You should be aware that the National Institute of Standards and Technology, better known as NIST, is not making the standards for the Smart Grid.

That NIST is involved there is no doubt. See this from the Energy Independence and Security Act 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…". In point of fact, NIST's role in the process is to be the honest broker between warring tribes of standards bodies, lobbyists and advocates of all stripes. As the above slide makes plain, each home is a bloody standards battleground. This is not easy work for NIST, or any of the innumerable stakeholders.

But to repeat: NIST is not making the standards. It's an open process and that's a job for all of us. Just so you know.

Slide Credit: "Repowering the Nation: Setting Standards for the Smart Grid" presented at MIT on Nov 21, 2009 by George Arnold, NIST National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards. Full presentation is here.

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