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Inside NIST's new smart grid guidelines

By Donna Donnowitz
May 29, 2014

Smart grid technology has experienced massive market growth in the past few years, while government regulators have increased efforts to guide the deployment and management of these utilities proactively. Those organizations and individuals overseeing smart grid development and delivery will need to follow a variety of best practices and regulatory compliance requirements to ensure the integrity of their systems over time.

Currently, many of the compliance-related considerations will relate back tothe protection of cyberassets in the various substations. However, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology has released new guidance that relates to other components of smart grid oversight, management and delivery in the modern utilities market.

SmartMeters recently reported that NIST is now in the public comment stages of its next set of guidelines, as it released the initial comments nearly a month ago. Before finalizing the various components, authorities from this oversight group will look to get opinions from individuals who would be impacted by the new guidelines, as well as those who are versed enough in modern smart grid management to enhance the new frameworks.

The source pointed out that this latest revision and updated version to existing oversight frameworks resulted from the speed with which smart grids are advancing and evolving.

"There have been many remarkable advances in smart grid infrastructure since the release of the last edition," said Chris Greer, smart grid program office director at NIST, according to the news provider. "By 2015, nearly a third of the 144 million meters in the U.S. will be smart meters. Through the Green Button effort, more than 45 electricity suppliers nationwide have committed to providing 59 million homes and businesses with access to their energy usage data. This new edition embraces this remarkable progress and provides a foundation for working together for the smart grid of the future."

SmartMeters noted that NIST is continuing to work with the European Union and other international parties to standardize, improve and streamline the oversight of smart grid technology.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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