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IEEE: The expertise to make smart grid a reality

IEEE Delivers Critical 1815 DNP3 Standard in Record Time

Collaboratively developed Distributed Network Protocol standard set to benefit worldwide Smart Grid, process automation industries

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA – IEEE, the world's leading professional association for the advancement of technology today announced the ratification of its IEEE 1815 Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3) standard for electric power systems communications. The new standard, which improves device interoperability and strengthens security protocols, was fast-tracked for completion and was delivered in only seven months. Scheduled for final publication in July 2010, IEEE 1815 is expected to play a significant role in the development and deployment of Smart Grid technologies.

IEEE 1815 is a collaboratively developed, adaptable framework that is the groundwork for achieving greater device interoperability and security. The robust, multi-layered protocol specifies an agile, forward-looking architecture enabling better optimized and more secure information gathering, exchange, and use, particularly in supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems. Expanding on widely used industry protocols, the comprehensive standard also preserves previous significant infrastructure investments by remaining backward compatible with existing object models, while incorporating emerging Smart Grid and other new technologies. Newly ratified as IEEE 1815, the protocols will benefit from the broad support, expertise, and resources that IEEE offers, providing a foundation for the continued deployment of Smart Grid technologies.

"Two elements key to the success of the global Smart Grid are device interoperability and security; without addressing these fundamental underpinnings, the Smart Grid could be hampered by unforeseen challenges and complexities," said H. Lee Smith, President, DNP Users Group. "Backed by IEEE’s knowledge, experience, and leadership, IEEE 1815 will both endure and expand to incorporate coming technology advancements. The DNP Users Group is pleased to have been part of the development and ratification of this critical standard."

The accelerated deployment of Smart Grid technologies, as well as thousands of new and legacy device installations in process automation settings like the electric utility, energy, and water industries, dictated the need for IEEE 1815. IEEE, in conjunction with the DNP Users Group, fast-tracked the protocol’s continued development and approval. The standard passed rigorous evaluation by each organization before being submitted to a diverse pool of more than 100 IEEE balloters.

"IEEE 1815 is a triumph of both innovation and collaboration. With growing numbers of Smart Grid deployments coming online, swiftly answering global demand for improvements in device data communication and transmission is an imperative," said Judith Gorman, Managing Director, IEEE Standards Association. "IEEE’s leadership position in Smart Grid information and expertise enabled us to bring key constituencies together to collaboratively craft and deliver a solution that will carry us forward for today and generations to come."

IEEE 1815 has also garnered strong backing from organizations and institutions like the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). Its overall thoroughness in addressing rising interoperability and security challenges, its collaborative nature, and its potential as a cornerstone for the emerging Smart Grid won the institution’s support.

In August 2009, NIST established an initial set of priority actions plans (PAPs) for developing standards necessary to build an interoperable Smart Grid. IEEE 1815 supports NIST PAP12 DNP3 Mapping to IEC 61850 Objects.

"DNP3 is already one of the most widespread and commonly specified protocols in use today. Ensuring that it remains functionally relevant and evergreen requires a combination of inspired leadership, technology expertise, and cooperation," said George Arnold, NIST’s National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability. "IEEE has done a remarkable job of uniting an array of stakeholders to deliver a solid base upon which Smart Grid technologies can be built and deployed."

IEEE 1815 was co-sponsored by the IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES) Transmission and Distribution Committee and IEEE PES Substations Committee, with additional input from the DNP Users Group. Collaborative efforts between IEEE and the DNP Users Group will continue after the standard’s publishing in July 2010.

IEEE has more than 100 standards and standards in development relevant to smart grid, including the over 20 IEEE standards named in the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards.

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About the DNP Users Group
The DNP Users Group is a California public mutual benefit Corporation, operating as a nonprofit organization pursuant to United States IRS code 501(c)(6). The primary purpose of the corporation is to maintain and promote the Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3), a non-proprietary, standards based communication protocol widely used in the utility industry. The DNP Users Group supports the DNP3 communication protocol standards as appropriate to the needs of the membership through development and maintenance of the technical documentation necessary to facilitate interoperability of products and systems used in the utility industry based on these standards. Additionally, the DNP Users Group provides a forum in which the various stakeholders in the utility industry can work cooperatively as members of a common organization, and implements educational and promotional activities that increase awareness and deployment of the DNP3 protocol in the utility industry. Read More

About IEEE Power & Energy Society
The IEEE Power & Energy Society is a worldwide, non-profit association of nearly 25,000 individuals engaged in electric power engineering. PES members are involved in the planning, research, development, construction, installation, and operation of equipment and systems for the safe, reliable, and economic generation, transmission, distribution, measurement, and control of electric energy. Members of the Power & Energy Society are leaders in this field, and they — and their employers — derive substantial benefits from involvement with this unique and outstanding association. Read More

About IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of 900 active standards and more than 400 standards under development. Read More