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NIST Awards Contract for Work on Smart Grid Interim Standards

For Immediate Release: April 7, 2009

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Contact: Mark Bello

As part of the Obama Administration’s commitment to moving the nation toward energy independence, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has contracted with the Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) to help it develop an interim “roadmap” for determining the architecture and initial key standards for an electric power “Smart Grid”.

The planned Smart Grid is a nationwide network that uses information technology to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably and securely. To facilitate progress toward a modernized electric-power system that is cleaner, more resilient and accommodates alternative sources of energy, Congress assigned NIST “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.”

EPRI will assist in identifying issues and priorities for developing permanent interoperability standards. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., EPRI is an independent, nonprofit, noncommercial organization that conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity.

“The Smart Grid is a cornerstone of national efforts to achieve energy independence, save consumers money and curb greenhouse gas emissions,” said NIST Deputy Director Patrick Gallagher. “This contract is a significant step in the urgent effort to identify and develop standards that will ensure a reliable and robust Smart Grid.”

EPRI also will support consensus-building activities that will provide the basis for the initial slate of Smart Grid standards. NIST will soon announce a three-phase plan that will result in an end-of-year submission for approval of standards to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has jurisdiction over interstate distribution and sales of electric power.