The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has taken the first step in starting a formal rulemaking proceeding for national smart grid standards. Working in conjunction with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), FERC has the task of implementing the mandates in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to incorporate smart grid technologies into the nation's electric grid. The new standards are aimed at ensuring smart grid functionality and interoperability in interstate transmission of electric power, and regional and wholesale electricity markets. Among other things, the rules will:

  • provide a common information model necessary for exchanges of data between devices and networks, primarily in the transmission and distribution domains;
  • facilitate substation automation, communication and interoperability through a common data format; and
  • facilitate exchanges of information between control centers.

FERC has created a docket, RM11-2-000, for this rulemaking, and in the near future will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking that will include opportunity for public comment.