Princeton, NJ, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 28, 2009 - The North American Electricity Reliability Corporation (NERC) is establishing a new Smart Grid Task Force to review the reliability impacts of smart grid.

The purpose of the new Task Force, under the NERC’s Planning Committee, is to provide a high level review of the reliability impacts of integrating smart grid technology on the bulk power system. It will consider system planning, design, and operations with respect to the bulk power system. A report will be prepared that reviews smart grid characteristics, identifies reliability concerns including cyber security vulnerability, and provides recommendations to the NERC and the industry.

The integration of smart grid and associated technologies into many levels of the electric system may have bulk power system reliability considerations, the NERC notes. While wise smart grid integration may present significant opportunities to improve monitoring, security, and power flow, a failure to adequately address the reliability considerations in the planning, design, and operation of the bulk power system could present reliability risks and challenges.

While many of the technologies currently associated with smart grid have been available for several years, others are yet unproven; and a rapid integration of all these devices with their associated control and data systems will present significant change in the electric industry that may potentially impact bulk power system reliability. Further, as interoperability has been proposed as the foundation for smart grid functions, cyber security reliability considerations should be integrated to ensure bulk power system reliability is maintained.
Nominations are currently being sought for industry, security, and vendor subject matter experts to participate in the Task Force.

Draft reports from the Task Force will be due in December 2009 and March 2010, and the final report will be approved in June 2010.