Smart grid standards: Hope at last for Smart Energy Profile 2


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: Not long after FERC issued some bad news about smart grid standards comes word that the most troublesome standard of all may have hopes of reviving. The Smart Energy Profile (SEP) has been mired in technical and political problems as it labored to move to Version 2 - the version much of the smart grid has been waiting for, since Version 1 is inadequate. Today, most of the warring factions announced they are joining forces to ensure interoperability for SEP 2. - By Jesse Berst


The HomePlug Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance, HomeGrid Forum and ZigBee Alliance have agreed to join forces to ensure Smart Energy Profile 2 (SEP 2) interoperability. The new consortium will allow companies with new technologies that support communications over Internet Protocol to certify SEP 2 with a consistent testing plan.


Formally titled the Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability, the new group is being set up as an open organization and is inviting other communications technology trade associations with an interest in smart grid to sign on.


The joint certification and testing program is intended to certify wireless and wired devices that support IP-based smart energy applications and end user equipment such as thermostats, appliances and gateways. It will cover devices that operate on one or more underlying connectivity technologies and provide utilities, product vendors and consumers with assurance that devices and applications are interoperable.


"As the hybrid wireless and wired home of the future takes shape, the need for easy interoperability becomes key," said Rob Ranck, president of HomePlug Alliance.


Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid He consults to smart grid companies seeking market entry advice and M&A advisory. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the US and abroad, he also serves on the Advisory Council of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Energy & Environment directorate.


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