November 2008

BTL Mark: Resolve interoperability issues & increase buyer confidence
BACnet Testing Laboratories

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B2G and the NIST Workshop
at Grid Interop '08

David Holmberg
NIST B2G domain expert working group lead
BACnet Utility Integration working group lead

Under the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), NIST has the primary responsibility for coordinating development of a framework to achieve interoperability of Smart Grid devices and systems that includes protocols and model standards for information management. Interoperability is a key challenge to achieving the vision of the Smart Grid: integrating alternative energy sources, handling plug-in hybrid vehicles transactions, allowing building systems to respond to pricing signals, integrating distributed generation resources, etc. NIST has been following a process that involves soliciting the input of Smart Grid domain experts to identify the important business applications that will define the smart grid. This business context is captured in use cases that develop communication interface requirements that then can be satisfied using standard protocols and common information elements.

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Reliable Controls Grid Interop 2008 will host the a suite of interoperability tracks with presentations that will help all attendees to understand the current state of interoperability and develop their vision for future interoperability and how to achieve it. The NIST workshop, which includes 5 breakout sessions at Grid Interop, will be part of the NIST process to benchmark the current state of interoperability in B2G as well as the other domains of the Smart Grid. The current breakout groups are: Building to Grid (B2G), Home to Grid (H2G), Industrial to Grid (I2G), Transmission and Distribution (T&D), Business and Policy (B&P) and Cross-cutting Security (Sec). For the first 4 groups, the agenda will be as follows:

  • Breakout 1: Interoperability experience collection--lessons learned and use case development

  • Breakout 2: Portray the current state of interoperability within the working group domain

  • Breakout 3: Set functional and interoperability goals on the basis of the current reality within the working group domain.

  • Breakout 4: Identify ways to improve the effectiveness and value of the NIST program

  • Breakout 5: Working groups consider the input developed during the breakout sessions, decide action items and timeline, and determine next steps for NIST and the DEWGs domain expert working groups.

NIST expects to come away from Grid Interop with an initial per-domain roadmap of what interoperability issues matter and specific action items to address the interoperability standards' gaps and weakness or overlaps. This interoperability roadmap will be refined in the coming months even while action can be taken to address low-hanging fruit in the different domain areas. Along these lines, plans are in the works for a B2G Summit in January to address the state of demand response for commercial buildings (to be held at the ASHRAE AHR) with an additional focus on the development of a real time pricing standard. More on this at Grid Interop.

I look forward to seeing many of you at Grid Interop as we together build a plan for B2G standards interoperability.


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