An important milestone for defining testing and certification for smart grid interoperability is the publication of a new standard, the Smart Grid Interoperability Process Reference Manual (IPRM). This new standard is a joint effort by the NEMA Distribution Automation Technical Committee and Smart Grid Interoperability Panel’s (SGIP) Smart Grid Testing and Certification Committee (SGTCC).
Geospatial technology is becoming a foundation technology for the smart grid. Most smart grid data includes location whether it is the location of a transformer, a smart meter, or other equipment, an outage, or a weather map used for forecasting output from distributed generation facilities (solar and wind). As defined in the NIST Framework and Roadmap for Smart Grid Interoperability Standards, Release 3.0 , SGIP standards rely on the Geographic Markup Language (GML) standard from the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) for location information. OGC and SGIP have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together on integrating geospatial with smart grid standards in the electric power sector.
SGTCC was one of the first standing committees established by SGIP. The committee is responsible for constructing an operational framework for the testing and certification process that will enable smart grid interoperability.
“This standard [IPRM] defines requirements and recommendations for general test policies, test suite specifications, test profiles, interoperability testing and certification authority technical programs, governance, laboratory qualifications, and process improvements. It also describes an implementation approach."
The IPRM standard defines a process by which industry stakeholders may procure, test, and assert interoperability between different vendors of smart grid products. The IPRM process defines requirements and recommendations for general test policies, test suite specifications, test profiles, interoperability testing and certification authority technical programs, governance, laboratory qualifications, and process improvements.