NIST Awards Smart Grid Contract - InformationWeek
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NIST Awards Smart Grid Contract

Standards agency taps EPRI to help develop a smart national energy grid.

The Electric Power Research Institute will develop a road map for standards and architecture for a smart grid.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology announced Tuesday that it has awarded EPRI a contract to help identify issues and priorities for an interoperable smart grid network. EPRI, a nonprofit research and development group, will help build consensus to form a foundation for smart grid standards. The group, based in Palo Alto, Calif., researches the generation, delivery, and use of electricity.

The $1.3 million contract, to develop architecture and key standards for a national smart grid, stems from a White House push toward energy independence. The funding comes from the NIST annual budget. Congress assigned NIST primary responsibility for coordinating and developing a framework of protocols and model standards for information management to ensure interoperability of smart grid systems and devices.

IT will enable modernized electric-power systems and networks to deliver electricity efficiently, reliably, and securely. The systems are expected to be cleaner and capable of drawing on alternative energy sources.

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

NIST will release a three-phase plan for submitting standards to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which oversees the interstate distribution and sales of electric power, by the end of this year.

InformationWeek Analytics has published an independent analysis of green IT strategies. Download the report here (registration required).

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