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Standards are critically important in the electric power industry because they affect interoperability, compatibility, reliability, and efficiency. As companies feverishly develop solutions for the Smart Grid, new standards will emerge rapidly. Those who fail to adapt quickly will find themselves heading down dead-end paths. Don’t allow yourself to be “Betamaxxed.” Watch this space for key developments and resources.

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Three cybersecurity resources you can put to work NOW

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, smart grid security, cybersecurity, NIST, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, electric utilities
NIST’s Smart Grid Interoperability Panel offers several useful resources to help utilities respond to the increasing number of cyber threats they face. Among them are a cybersecurity users guide and a webinar coming up later this week. Read on to get the details.

It will soon be easier to mix and match wireless and powerline communications

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid communications, smart grid standards, wireless communications, powerline communications, HomePlug Alliance, Wi-SUN Alliance, electric utilities
Hybrid networks with both powerline and wireless communications are inevitable, and two major standards organizations are working toward a solution to make that coexistence easier to manage. Read the story to find out what the HomePlug and Wi-SUN alliances are doing to make it happen.

Psssst! Pass these substation security ideas along to NERC. (Right now.)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid security, physical security, FERC, NERC, substations, electric utilities
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission recently told the North American Electric Reliability Corporation to develop a new physical security standard, and NERC has less than 90 days to do it. Doug Houseman of EnerNex has obviously put some serious thought into the issue and shares some very good ideas on substation security. Click to read what he has to say.

Smart grid interoperability: We now have an answer (its initials are MQTT)

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid standards, smart grid interoperability, NIST, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel, policy and regulation, electric utilities, Internet of Things, M2M
So, what is MQTT? Guest author Geoff Brown answers that question and explains why it’s crucial to smart grid interoperability and the integration of M2M and the Internet of Things. He also shares problems and challenges – as well as solutions that can be implemented now.

The 10 keys to a successful Internet Protocol (IP) transition

smart grid, smart grid technology, standards, IP standards, smart grid strategy, electric utilities
There are a lot of ways to capture more value from smart grid investments, but making the best choices can be tricky. Mark Burke of DNV-GL recommends 10 strategies for utilities to keep in mind when planning investments focused on the IP standard.

The 10 essentials of a great smart grid plan

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid strategy, consumer engagement, standards, cybersecurity
Whether utilities are just now embarking on their smart grid initiatives or they have been underway for some time, it’s always smart to consider good advice. While it may sound like a surprising source, click to review best practices recommended by the Environmental Defense Fund’s John Finnigan. His recommendations could be very helpful when it’s time to talk rates with regulators.

Why smart grids need smart inverters (and where to find them)

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid standards, testing protocols, rooftop solar, standards organizations, electric utilities
Smart inverters are essential if rooftop solar is to be effectively and safely connected to the grid, and utilities and others are clamoring for them. They’re already here, so what’s the hangup? Standards and testing protocols, or rather, their absence. We share updates on some of the organizations working to clear that bottleneck.

Why smart grids need smart inverters (and where to find them)

smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid standards, standards development, solar inverters, rooftop solar, electric utilities
Smart inverters are essential if rooftop solar is to be effectively and safely connected to the grid, and utilities and others are clamoring for them. They’re already here, so what’s the hangup? Standards and testing protocols, or rather, their absence. We share updates on some of the organizations working to clear that bottleneck.

Yet another fear for the utility future: New motor standards may cut demand even further

smart grid, smart grid technology, standards, policy and regulation, electric utilities
A rule has been proposed to require strict efficiency standards for electric motors. It’s good news for the businesses that will save money from enhanced energy efficiency and good for the environment. But unless utilities can find a new business model that doesn’t depend on selling more power every year, it may not be good news for them.

Alliance pushing DC power for homes and small businesses

Smart Grid, DC power, DC power for residential and small business, EMerge Alliance, rooftop solar and DC power, Modern Grid, Smart Grid Deployment, AMI, Smart Meters, Power Grid, Smart Electric Grid, Electric Utilities,
Reducing the many inefficient AC to DC conversions needed to power today's devices is one reason why the EMerge Alliance is driving a DC power initiative focused on homes and small businesses. Click to see what else is prompting the standards group's new initiative.

Survey says: NERC CIP compliance not enough to guarantee grid security

Smart grid, smart grid security, cybersecurity, cyber threats, standards, NERC, electric utilities
IT professionals working with the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s Critical Infrastructure Protection standards say compliance alone won’t guarantee the safety and security of the bulk electric system, according to a recent survey. Participants said it’s an important step, but not the last one.

Now's your chance to influence smart grid cybersecurity standards

Smart grid, smart grid standards, National Institute of Standards and Technology, NIST, cybersecurity guidelines
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has opened the first revisions of its cybersecurity guidelines for public comment. The deadline is approaching, so study the guidelines and share your opinions with NIST soon.

Breakthrough! The best tool yet for smart grid standards

Smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid standards, IEC, standards tools
Tracking down a specific standard can be a frustrating chore: there are so many, and they come from so many different groups and organizations. Enter IEC’s Smart Grid Standards Mapping Tool. We explain inside how the tool works and why it makes hunting down particular standards convenient (and fast).

Is there hope for true smart grid interoperability? Experts respond

Smart grid, smart grid standards, smart grid interoperability, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel
The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) may not get as much attention as some smart grid organizations but it has an extremely important responsibility, one it takes on essentially alone. Now is a good time to check in see and what this important standards group has been up to lately.

Utilities: Here's where important new EV standards will come from

Smart grid, smart grid technology, EVs, electric vehicles, EV charging, EV integration standards
Utilities now have a new resource to help them integrate electric vehicles into their electric grids and smart grid upgrades: the Interoperability Center for electric vehicles. The first of the centers was integrated near Chicago, and the second will open in the EU in 2014. The U.S. center will concentrate on harmonizing electrical codes and standards.

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