The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a division of the United States Department of Commerce, has hired Framingham, Mass.-based Plexus Research , an R. W. Beck company, to assist in fulfilling its mandate to identify and support Smart Grid standards of interoperability as specified in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA 2007). EISA 2007 directs NIST to identify existing and developing standards related to Smart Grid technologies, assess their current functional and technical interoperability, and prioritize actions to achieve a higher level of interoperability that would benefit utilities, businesses, and consumers.

The effort comprises three key deliverables to NIST:

  • A Smart Grid Standards Knowledge Base (SKB) that will serve as a central repository describing standards that support operation and integration of Smart Grid applications.

  • A Smart Grid Standards Interoperability Assessment (SIA) that will identify alignment, overlaps, and gaps among Smart Grid standards.

  • A Smart Grid Standards Landscape Map (SLM) that provides an interface for user access to the SKB and SIA. The SLM will enable a broad base of users to view and understand the elements, structure, status, and development of the Smart Grid standards landscape. The expected users of the SLM will be the Smart Grid standards development community; the Smart Grid stakeholders, various media; and political leaders who want to monitor, enable, and encourage Smart Grid progress.