ABB urges Smart Grid Standards...but where is ISA?

In the gold rush to Smart Grid, it's easy to get left out. In the last several major press releases about Smart Grid I've seen, one standards body has been conspicuous by its absence. That, of course would be ISA. Even though ISA has launched a full-court press to transform itself from a member style educational foundation into a workforce development and standards body (which I believe is the future of the Society--- and I've been saying so since 1998)-- it seems to have been left at the altar for Smart Grid.

Too bad, too, because POWID, the power industry division, and SP99, the cyber security standard committee, are essential repositories of information that is really necessary for Smart Grid to work. Not Google, not Cisco-- ISA.

So, once again, I am somewhat disturbed to notice the lack of reference to ISA in this otherwise extremely important and excellent commentary by Enrique Santacana, CEO of ABB USA-- which has, ironically, moved its HQ to Cary, North Carolina-- and ISA is only a few miles away in RTP.

Here's what Santacana said-- and everybody should pay attention to him:

ABB urges industry collaboration, acceleration of Smart Grid standards development in U.S.
 ABB North America CEO Santacana seeks greater urgency in creating open standards at Smart Grid Leadership meeting in Washington, D.C.

Cary, North Carolina, May 26, 2009 – Enrique Santacana, President and CEO of ABB in North America, participated with a select group of power executives at a special Smart Grid Leadership meeting called by U.S. Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke,  last week in Washington, D.C.
Santacana called for greater collaboration within the industry and with government leaders, as well as a greater sense of urgency among all stakeholders in creating new industry-wide open standards for smart grid development in the United States and elsewhere.

“We believe that development and adoption of open protocols and systems are necessary for the U.S. to properly develop the emerging Smart Grid,” said Santacana. “ABB’s extensive global experience, combined with innovative products, systems and technologies, can clearly help to provide direction and guide this effort. This challenge will require a greater collaboration and sense of urgency from all stakeholders, and we are certainly willing to play our part.”

The Smart Grid Leadership meeting was a kickoff to last week’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Interim Smart Grid Standards Interoperability Roadmap Summit. NIST has been charged with coordinating standards bodies for the Smart Grid. ABB participated in the first NIST workshop in April, and sent seven global power experts to participate in last week’s roadmap-working sessions.

ABB’s History of Standards Leadership
ABB is active in technical standards’ committees with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), helping to develop cross-border power industry technical standards. Santacana was instrumental in setting up a new NEMA Smart Grid Advisory Council made up of the major electric power components and systems manufacturers.

Santacana also sits on the U.S. Department of Energy’s prestigious Electric Advisory Council (EAC).

IEC 61850 Standards
ABB has been actively involved in the development and adoption of IEC 61850, the first international standard for electric power device communication interoperability. ABB established the first manufacturer’s IEC 61850 system verification center qualified by the UCA International User’s Group, which consists of 98 member companies from 29 countries.

All ABB transmission and distribution protection and control devices used in substation and distribution automation devices such as relays, communication gateways and substation controllers, go through a vigorous testing to ensure compliance to the IEC 61850 standard. ABB has the largest installed base of IEC 61850 devices globally, extending to more than 600 electric power systems in 57 countries.

As announced earlier by DOE Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Locke, IEC 61850 will serve as the initial smart grid interoperability standard for substation automation and protection.

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  • <p> Walt: </p> <p> ISA chose to pursue smart grid initiatives through Automation Federation where a position paper was posted months ago.  This decision was made to be inclusive in this effort for everyone vested in the automation profession and because of the standing Automation Federation now has in DC.  Most recently at the Electric Power/POWID Conference in Chicago last month and following the AF Board meeting where it was discussed, the AF Energy Committee held a meeting in which Michael Assante, VP and Chief Security Officer of NERC provided an overview of SmartGrid from government and private sector perspectives and power industry cybersecurity followed by discussion with AF members representing ISA and some of the other member Societies in which standards (ISA, NIST, CIP) and ISA certifications were prime topics.  As a result, NERC will be an active participant in the AF Energy committee and Tim Roxey, also with NERC will provide an invite to AF at the Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee in June. </p> <p> Thanks, </p> <p> Steve Huffman </p>


  • <p> Walt: </p> <p> ISA chose to develop SmartGrid initiatives through Automation Federation primarily to be inclusive to everyone invested in the automation profession and also because of the traction AF now has in Washington.  A position paper was written months ago.  Last month in Chicago at the Electric Power/ISA POWID Division conference, an Automation Federation Board meeting was held followed by another meeting of the AF Energy committee in which Michael Assante, VP and Chief Security Officer of NERC addressed the committee and most of the AF member organizations providing an overview of SmartGrid and Cybersecurity from government and private sector perspectives followed by discussion and action plans prominently featuring standards (ISA, NIST, CIP), and ISA certifications.  One result of this meeting is an active participation of NERC in AF energy committee work and an invite to the Critical Infrastructure Protection Committee meeting forthcoming.  Thanks for bringing this up since it draws attention, but ISA is there and is once again encouraging proponents of our profession to be a part of something big. </p> <p> Thanks, </p> <p> Steve Huffman, 2007 ISA President, 2009 AF Government Relations Chair </p>


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