Gaithersburg, MD and Knoxville, TN, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 24, 2009 - Knoxville, TN-based EnerNex Corporation has been awarded the contract by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to help the Institute sustain the accelerated development of the standards that will be required to build a secure, interoperable smart electric power grid in the United States.

NIST is obligating a portion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds allocated to it through the Department of Energy to the contract, which was awarded under an unrestricted, fully open and competitive process.

The contract will run for up to two years if all options are exercised with an estimated cost of about $8.5 million.

EnerNex’s first task will be to establish and administer a Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Panel to identify, prioritize and address new and emerging requirements for smart grid interoperability and security. This work will further develop the initial NIST Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Framework (Release 1.0), expected to be released in September for public comment.

Release 1.0 will identify the first set of key standards and provide a roadmap for developing new or revised standards critical to smart grid development. It also will describe a reference model to help organize the smart grid and identify linkages among many varied smart grid components, including household appliances, utilities, windmills and electric vehicles.
 
The panel will interact with expert working groups, a cyber security coordination task group, and other volunteer technical bodies established by NIST during this first phase of its smart grid efforts.

The panel will consist of key smart grid stakeholders, including utilities, independent power producers, federal agencies, state regulators, equipment manufacturers, consumer groups and developers of information technology applications and devices. Meetings to engage with peers are set to begin the week of November 16, 2009, in Denver.

EnerNex will also work with NIST, the private sector, and non-profit organizations to begin establishing a testing and certification infrastructure that will ensure smart grid-related software, hardware and services conform to standards.

In addition, the contract calls for EnerNex to build a publicly accessible “interoperability knowledge base.” It will contain information on smart grid standards, relevant activities of standards development organizations, and other types of information needed to guide standards development over the long term.

Following the last of three public workshops the NIST has identified an initial set of priorities for developing standards necessary to build an interoperable smart grid (see U.S. smart grid cyber security and priority action plans identified).