The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has issued the first-ever certificates for compliance to two vendors of distributed energy resource management systems (DERMS). The certification of compliance to standards ensures the systems will be able to communicate with the grid and the utility.

Schneider Electric and Smarter Grid Solutions received certification for the Ecostruxure ADMS Version 3.8 and ANM Strata Version 1.2 respectively.

The EPRI common information model (CIM) compliance certification event brought together utility representatives and vendors to discuss distributed energy resource (DER) smart inverter issues and conducted the first-of-its-kind event focused on the messages used to support software integration of DERMS on to the grid.

This set of messages allow utilities and vendors to integrate in a standardised way, regardless if the DERMS is a standalone system, part of an advanced distribution management system (ADMS), or a third-party aggregator, providing a hosted solution in the cloud.

“Our basic premise has been that when vendors complete compliance testing, it increases the likelihood that they will be able to interoperate. This was demonstrated when the two vendors, Schneider Electric and Smarter Grid Solutions, completed their test, then pointed their programs to the others’ products, and were able to successfully exchange messages,” said Dr. Gerald Gray, EPRI’s lead for the vendor compliance portion of the test event.

“Standards-based messages lower the barriers to integration and help keep down integration and maintenance costs.”

The compliance event had been in the works ever since EPRI published A Call to Action: Certification Testing for the Common Information Model in early 2016. The CIM family of standards have been in existence for 20 years but until last year there was no way to test for compliance to them.

EPRI and other industry stakeholders began working with the CIM Compliance Committee (www.cimtesting.org) to address the “actionability” gap with the CIM family of standards. The committee has been developing the requirements for compliance expectations and for associated certification authority (ITCA).

Test event participants used a test script published by EPRI, Program on Technology Innovation: Test Script for International Electrotechnical Commission 61968-5 Messages, and a test harness developed by EPRI that validated the results. Additionally, the test used International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standard for application integration, IEC 61968-100:2013.

The CIM User’s Group (www.cimug.org) will be creating a page to list vendors as they complete compliance certification.