Smart Grid Interoperability Panel

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Smart Grid Grid Interoperability Panel
Founded December 2009
Type Professional Organization
Focus Smart Grid, Power Transmission and Distribution, Renewable Energy, Communications, Microgrids Electric Vehicles
Origins Established by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a public-private partnership
Area served
Method Industry standards review, Conferences, Publications
Key people
John McDonald, Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Chairman, GE Digital
Ed Eckert, Vice President, Itron
Nick Wagner, Treasurer, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC)
Barry Haaser, Secretary, Lakeview Consulting Group

The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) is a public/private funded, non-profit organization that supports the work behind power grid modernization through the harmonization of technical interoperability standards to advance grid modernization. SGIP's stakeholders include utilities, manufacturers, consumers and regulators.

SGIP's mission is to accelerate the implementation of interoperable smart grid devices and systems.

SGIP coordinates and collaborates with stakeholders end-to-end across the Smart Grid enterprise and furthers interoperability by:

  • Developing reference architectures and implementation guidelines;
  • Facilitating and harmonizing standards development;
  • Identifying testing, certification, and security requirements;
  • Informing and educating stakeholders;
  • Conducting outreach to establish global interoperability alignment.


The Smart Grid Interoperability Panel (SGIP) was established in December 2009 by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a public-private partnership. The panel aided in fulfilling the requirements of the U.S. Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) of 2007 signed into law by President George W. Bush. EISA directed that under the auspices of the US Department of Energy (US DOE), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) be tasked with the development of a framework including protocols and model standards for information management to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems. In December 2012, SGIP made the transition into a global, member-funded, industry-based, non-profit organization, incorporated as “SGIP 2.0, Inc.”

Current work[edit]

Members of SGIP collaborate to accelerate standards harmonization and advance interoperability to help pave the path for innovation and a more reliable, secure and efficient energy system globally. SGIP brings together and gives voice to over 20 industry segments, representing every domain in the power industry.

These categories are:

  1. Appliance and consumer electronic providers
  2. Commercial and industrial equipment manufacturers and automation vendors
  3. Consumers - residential, commercial and industrial
  4. Electric transportation
  5. Electric utility companies - investor owned utilities and federal and state power authorities
  6. Electric utility companies - municipal and investor owned
  7. Electric utility companies - rural electric association
  8. Electricity and financial market traders
  9. Independent power producers
  10. Information and communication technologies infrastructure and service providers
  11. Information technology application developers and integrators
  12. Power equipment manufacturers and vendors
  13. Professional societies, users groups, trade associations and industry consortia
  14. Research and development organizations and academia
  15. Relevant government entities
  16. Renewable power producers
  17. Retail service providers
  18. Standards and specification development organizations
  19. State and local regulators
  20. Testing and certification vendors
  21. Transmission operators and independent system operators
  22. Venture capital

SGIP supports various efforts aligned to best meet the challenge of accelerating the harmonization of power grid standards. These include:

Domain Expert Working Groups[edit]

Identify the need for new standards, gaps in existing standards and business opportunities in power grid industry eco-systems

Priority Action Plans[edit]

Priority Action Plan (PAPs) identify where interoperable standards are set.


SGIP hosts face-to-face events dedicated to helping both members and non-member stakeholders share ideas and information about smart grid concepts, deployments, and technology advancements. The events generally span several days in length and attract attendees from around the world and provide an opportunity for stakeholders from the energy ecosystem — utilities, manufacturers, regulators and customers — to collaborate and discuss the harmonization of the standards that critically impact, enhance, and accelerate the deployment of a smarter grid. Touching all aspects of grid modernization, the conferences include a mix of technical and business-oriented sessions focused on standards development issues. The conferences also address opportunities and challenges facing professionals involved in sectors such as bulk generation, transmission, distribution operations and service providers. It will also include standards implementation case studies and best practices to address the industry’s critical issues –cybersecurity, resiliency, and customer engagement, reviews of NIST Smart Grid Frameworks, and international and policy viewpoints.

SGIP also hosts educational webinar series that are open and free to the public on topics such as cybersecurity, weather and storm outages, the role of research and development in academia in power grid modernization, testing and certification concerns and how regulators help shape smart grid standards.


Through its priority action plans, domain expert working groups and sub-groups, and standing committees, SGIP has published papers, manuscripts, guides, the Catalog of Standards and other documents relating to the Smart Grid,[1] including:

Smart Grid Interoperability Panel Newsletter[edit]

In May 2013, SGIP unveiled its newsletter, a monthly electronic digest. The publication's content focuses on practical and technical information, as well as commentary and opinion on emerging smart grid technologies, progress towards new standards, the review of standards and upcoming revisions, global deployments, and other smart grid-related subject matter. Contributors include industry leaders, prominent researchers and academics, and advocates and policy experts.

Catalog of Standards[edit]

SGIP produces and maintains a Catalog of Standards (CoS). The Catalog is a compendium of standards and practices considered to be relevant for the development and deployment of a robust, interoperable, and secure Smart Grid. Any standard, practice or guide listed in the Catalog has gone through a rigorous, multi-part review by industry experts in the SGIP process. The Catalog may contain multiple entries that may accomplish the same goals and are functionally equivalent; similarly a single Catalog entry may contain optional elements that need not be included in all implementations.

Scope of the Standards Catalog is to include standards, guides, and other specifications recognized by the SGIP as relevant for enabling Smart Grid capabilities. No endorsement, beyond that of relevancy, is implied by inclusion of an entry in the Catalog.

The objectives of the Standards Catalog is to explain the value and purpose of the standard or guide for Smart Grid community and to be influential, but independent of NIST/Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) decision-making. It characterize the various specification organizations and their selected documents with respect to their processes in developing the specifications. The Catalog provides an annotated resource that identifies standards created by recognized SSOs and/or industry consortia that are relevant to Smart Grid applications and identifies functional areas of the smart grid where each standard is appropriate.

The Catalog's relationship to NIST and FERC is that it strives for accurate characterization and relevance to the Smart Grid community, and avoids recommendation. The Catalog is a larger compilation which can inform NIST and FERC in their decision making processes.

While standards certainly contribute to the facilitation of interoperability, the standards, themselves, rarely, if ever, cover all levels of agreement and configuration required in practice, and compliance with a standard does not absolutely guarantee interoperability. As a part of its work program, SGIP is defining a testing and certification program that may be applied to the equipment, devices, and systems built to the standards listed in the Catalog. If such testing and certification program is applied, it will help substantiate that implementations claiming compliance with the respective standards are also interoperable. Where test profiles have been defined and testing organizations identified for a particular standard this will be indicated in the Catalog entry.

Influence and impact[edit]

Many of the participating SGIP members have had demonstrable impact on the Smart Grid ecosystem. Often called upon as Smart Grid experts by the media, members appear frequently in publications such as Smart Grid News, Smart Grid Today, Electric Energy T&D, Fierce Energy, Intelligent Utility and greentechgrid which unveiled "The Networked Grid 100: Movers and Shakers of the Smart Grid" in February 2010, naming SGIP Chairman, John D. McDonald, as one of their listees.

On July 1, 2010, McDonald along with Dr. George W. Arnold, National Coordinator for Smart Grid, NIST; Mason W. Emnett, Associate Director of The Office of Energy Policy and Innovation, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC); Conrad Eustis, Director of Retail Technology Development, Portland General Electric; and Lillie Coney, Associate Director, Electronic Privacy Information Center were called upon to brief the U.S. House of Representatives’ Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation, House Committee on Science and Technology.[2] At the hearing entitled "Smart Grid Architecture and Standards: Assessing Coordination and Progress", he provided testimony on the progress of standards for Smart Grid interoperability and cyber security, stating: "Also crucial to this undertaking are developing system architecture and standards that provide the essential foundation for bringing together the electrical and communications infrastructure, and for evolving technology to meet many and disparate needs. Both the SGIP and its standards development organization affiliate members and NIST have already shown tremendous progress in these areas."[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IEEE Publications Search". IEEE. Retrieved 12/06/11 (12/06/11).  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. ^ "Smart Grid Architecture and Standards: Assessing Coordination and Progress". U.S. Government Printing Office. 07/01/10. Retrieved 12/09/11.  Check date values in: |access-date=, |date= (help)
  3. ^ Berst, Jesse. NIST, IEEE Brief House Subcommittee on Progress in Smart Grid Standards, Smart Grid News, 07/06/10.

External links[edit]