Wednesday, 14 November 2012 03:57

Developing Standards for SmartGrid

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Developing Standards for SmartGrid


In December 1999 a committee of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) identified electrification as the first of 20 greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century.

With the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 the Smartgrid became federal policy.

The first interoperability standards were announced in 2009 having been identified by attendees at a Smart Grid Interoperability Standards Interim Roadmap workshop in that year.

In late October 2012 Sparx Systems, a member of Utility Communication Architecture International User Group (UCAiug) attended the 2012 Summit in New Orleans.  This event saw a rare confluence of 5 different User Groups which was the basis of a busy and dynamic meeting. 


The UCAiug consists of utility user and supplier companies and is dedicated to promoting the integration and interoperability of electric/gas/water utility systems through the use of international standards-based technology. It is a User Group for IEC 61850, the Common Information Model – Generic Interface Definition (CIM/GID as per IEC 61970/61968), advanced metering and demand response via OpenDR.


Meeting attendees included CIM; OpenSG;  IEC 61850; Testing; and Green Button Users groups. This cohort of volunteers is remarkable, not only for their collective knowledge, industry experience and dedication to standards development but because their efforts underpin the ultimate success of SmartGrid.  Enterprise Architect is used by these groups use to develop standards that will support SmartGrid interoperability.


CIM is an international standard globally accepted for modeling the information exchanges required in electric utility industry.  The interoperability enabled by the CIM standards is a key factor for achieving the Smart Grid vision. There are many advantages to a common architecture and common standards. Common architectures lead to common or harmonised standards and within the overall architecture can fulfil similar functions. This focuses the standards development work on a smaller set of relevant standards and simplifies the choices for vendors as they develop Smart Grid solutions. It also gives Smart Grid product purchasers more choices.

 The official CIM UML model (approved by IEC WG 13 and 14) for use by CIMug members is available here:



The OpenSG User Group (OSGug) was formed to create a forum for the development of requirements for SmartGrid systems.  The work focus has been defined by the pragmatic needs of the Utility and Vendor communities.  Through these forums leading experts share their insights, create technical content, and resolve key technical issues.  The OpenSG OpenADR 1.0 System Requirements Specification can be found here:



IEC 61850 is a part of the International Electrotechnical Commission's (IEC) Technical Committee 57 (TC57) and is an international standard developed by the International Electro technical Commission (IEC) that provides a comprehensive framework for the implementation of power system automation within substations and across the power system. IEC 61850 is a mission critical part of achieving the Smart Grid vision. Two of ten working groups in TC57,  WG13 is responsible for IEC61970 which includes the CIM and WG14 is responsible for for IEC61968 which includes mapping of IEC61968 to MultiSpeak.  This is an initiative of NRECA (National National Rural Electric Cooperative Association), and is one of the leading standards addressing the demands of enterprise application interoperability, required to achieve smart grid objectives.


The MultiSpeak UML Model can be downloaded here

MultiSpeak 4.1 is now a mature standard with increasing growth in its scope and is in use at over 500 utilities in at least 11 countries. Version 4.1 which was issued June 2010 was chosen by NIST to be the CIM harmonization target.


The UCAIug Quality Assurance Program provides for formalized conformance testing of products supporting the IEC 61850 standard and verifies that supported functions of the IED are implemented correctly as defined in the IEC 61850 standard.

A common international testing framework provides the best opportunity for ensuring that Smart Grid products are tested in similar ways, which helps vendors create more universally conformant and interoperable products and gives product purchasers comfort that the tested products they purchase will actually work.  The Testing community is actively working to add the CIM standards and Green Button to its Quality Assurance Program.


The Green Button is based a standard developed by the North American Energy Standards Board (NAESB).  NAESB OpenESPI 1.0 Standardizes the Energy Services Provider Interface (ESPI).  Green Button uses the OpenESPI 1.0 standard to implement the common-sense idea that electricity customers should be able to securely download their own easy-to-understand household energy usage information from their utility or electricity supplier website.

The OpenESPI 1.0 standard can be found here:


The NIST Framework for SmartGrid Interoperability Standards can be found here:


Sparx Systems will attend the Distributech Conference in San Diego from January 29-31 2013

Read 18431 times Last modified on Wednesday, 08 May 2013 22:49

Sparx Systems

99 Albert Street
P: +61 3 5345 1140
F: +61 3 5345 1104
Sparx Systems specializes in high performance and scalable visual modeling tools for the planning, design and construction of software intensive systems. A Contributing Member of the Object Management Group (OMG), Sparx Systems is committed to realizing the potential of model-driven development based on open standards. The company’s flagship product, Enterprise Architect, has received numerous accolades since its commercial release in August, 2000. Enterprise Architect is the design tool of choice for over 740,000 registered users worldwide.
More in this category: Where Technology meets Business »
Login to post comments