The IEEE Standards that Pave the Way for the Smart Grid

By Bill Ash

Over several decades, electric utilities have installed hundreds of thousands of electronic devices that monitor the vital signs of their transmission and distribution systems to modernize the power grid. The proliferation of detailed information about voltage, current and other system parameters can tell utilities a lot about the state, stability and efficiency of transmission and distribution networks, thus providing more insight to the performance and control of the grid.

While installing these technologies to enhance the information and data capturing techniques and devices, we need to keep in mind the standards behind them. The standards allow the technologies to be used at a lower cost because of economies of scale in manufacturing, installation and implementation/deployment. This, in turn, also helps in unified training of the workforce and multi-vendors solution that allow for completion of projects.

Standards are pervasive. No matter where you go in the world, you would be challenged not to find an influence from some sort of standardization. Standards have been driving innovation, contributing to the growth of markets, expanding consumer choice, supporting interoperability and protecting the health and public safety of workers and the general public for centuries. In every part of the world, the influence from some sort of standardization is more than evident.

IEEE covers many different topics across the broad spectrum of technologies. From the transmission and distribution automation, EV, communications and networking, software and system engineering, security, robotic and automation, and interoperability. IEEE has developed many standards in areas and technologies that cover a wide range of application and approaches, which allow for and decisively promote the evolution of smart grid.

Here, out of many, there are some IEEE standards are relevant to evolution of grid modernization and their current status :

IEEE P1547 (Revision) Standard for Interconnection and Interoperability of Distributed Energy Resources with Associated Electric Power Systems Interfaces

This standard establishes criteria and requirements for interconnection of distributed energy resources (DER) with electric power systems (EPS) and associated interfaces.

Status: Submitted to the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board for final approval

IEEE P2030.5 (Revision) Standard for Smart Energy Profile Application Protocol applications like demand response, load control, time of day pricing, management of distributed generation, electric vehicles, etc. This standard defines the mechanisms for exchanging application messages, the exact messages exchanged including error messages, and the security features used to protect the application messages. With respect to the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) network model, this standard is built using the four layer Internet stack model. The defined application protocol is an IEC 61968 common information model (CIM) [61968] profile, mapping directly where possible, and using subsets and extensions where needed, and follows an IETF RESTful architecture [REST]

Status: Sponsor Ballot

IEEE PC37.240 (Revision) Standard Cybersecurity Requirements for Power System Automation, Protection and Control Systems

The standard provides technical requirements for power system cybersecurity. Based on sound engineering practices, requirements can be applied to achieve high levels of cybersecurity of power system automation, protection and control systems independent of voltage level or criticality of cyber assets.

Status: Working group

IEEE P825 Guide for Interoperability of Transactive Energy Systems with Electric Power Infrastructure (Building the Enabling Network for Distributed Energy Resources)

This guide will permit common transactive grid services to be exercised by connected Distributed Energy Resource assets behind the meter. The guide brings together a broad set of grid interoperability standards that will utilize the underlying IEEE1547 Interconnection conformity as an integration platform while leveraging multiple communications protocols.

Status: Working group

IEEE C37.238-2017 Standard Profile for Use of IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol in Power System Applications

This standard specifies an extended profile for the use of IEEE Std 1588(TM)-2008, IEEE Standard for a Precision Clock Synchronization Protocol for Networked Measurement and Control Systems in power system protection, control, automation, and data communication applications utilizing an Ethernet communications architecture.

The profile specifies a well-defined subset of IEEE 1588 mechanisms and settings aimed at enabling device interoperability, robust response to network failures, and deterministic control of delivered time quality. It is compliant with IEC/IEEE 61850-9-3 that specifies the preferred physical layer, Ethernet; the higher level protocol used for message exchange, PTP; and the PTP protocol configuration parameters. Special attention is given to ensuring consistent and reliable time distribution within substations, between substations, and across wide geographic areas. As such, this profile extends IEC/IEEE 61850-9-3 with continuous monitoring of time inaccuracy, and optionally local time based on UTC.

Status: Published 2017

While this is just a small glimpse of the many standards project in IEEE, IEEE has many tools and approaches to help close the technology gaps needed for grid modernization. We have leverage standards requirements, roadmaps, and global collaborations of market driven use cases to realize new applications. Leveraging the use of IEEE’s Smart Grid initiative, societies, conferences, publications and standardization related efforts for networking opportunities for participants to share and exchange use cases within their context of the smart grid. Standards drive the partnerships of government, academia, and industry in the consensus development of standards to help the industry’s evolution of the smart grid.

This article was edited by Mehmet Cintuglu.

For a downloadable copy of the February 2018 eNewsletterwhich includes this article, please visit the IEEE Smart Grid Resource Center



bill ash

Bill Ash is the Strategic Technology Program Director for the IEEE Standards Association. Bill has been with the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) for 15 years, working with standards development groups covering technologies such as RF emissions, distributive energy resources, smart grid, and the National Electrical Safety Code®. He has been working in the standards area for smart grid technology since 2008. He is currently overseeing activities related to the smart grid, Smart Cities, and eHealth for the IEEE-SA. Bill received his BSEE from Rutgers University School of Engineering. His background is in the RF industry, where he worked as an applications engineer on wireless communications systems.

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