Washington, DC, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- December 6, 2010 - The successful integration of smart grid devices and systems can improve bulk power system reliability, but to reach the potential of the smart grid while maintaining reliability, the industry will need new tools and models to support planning and operations of the bulk power system, according to a new report from the North American Reliability Corporation (NERC).

Further, bulk power system operators will need increased visibility and dispatchability as smart grid innovations change the character of distribution systems.

The report, Reliability Considerations from the Integration of Smart Grid, is intended to provide a preliminary assessment of potential reliability considerations with smart grid integration. In addition, it outlines a work plan for coordinated actions from the electric industry to enable integration of smart grid devices and systems resulting in a secure and reliable bulk power system.

Among the key findings are that government initiatives and regulations promoting smart grid development and integration must consider the bulk power system reliability implications.

Further, smart grid technologies will change the character of the distribution system, which must be incorporated into bulk power system planning and operations, and cyber security and control systems will require enhancement to ensure reliability.

Research and development also has a vital role in successful smart grid integration.

“This preliminary assessment reviews how the evolving integration of the smart grid can support bulk power system reliability,” said Mark Lauby, director of Reliability Assessment and Performance Analysis at NERC. “It will be vital that the system is planned, designed and operated to address the grid stability and cyber considerations.”
 
The report recommends that the NERC should engage standards development organizations in the U.S. and Canada to increase coordination and harmonization in standards development and that it should support the development of tools and technologies needed to address bulk power system reliability, including cyber and control systems, modeling, simulation, and operator tools and training. Further, the NERC reliability standards should be enhanced as required over time.

The NERC’s mission is to ensure the reliability of the North American bulk power system.