Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- October 8, 2010 - The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has taken the first step in starting a formal rulemaking proceeding involving the first five groups of smart grid standards identified by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as ready for consideration.

NIST handed off the first standards to FERC under Section 1305 of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which requires FERC to adopt in a formal rulemaking proceeding standards and protocols necessary to ensure smart grid functionality and interoperability in interstate transmission of electric power, and regional and wholesale electricity markets.

These standards are:

  • IEC 61968 and IEC 61970, which provide a Common Information Model necessary for exchanges of data between devices and networks, primarily in the transmission and distribution domains
  • IEC 61850, which facilitates substation automation, communication and interoperability through a common data format
  • IEC 60870-6, which facilitates exchanges of information between control centers, and
  • IEC 62351, which addresses the cyber security of the communication protocols defined by the preceding IEC standards.

FERC has created a docket, RM11-2-000, for this rulemaking, and in the near future will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NOPR) that will include opportunity for public comment.