The IEEE said it has ratified the IEEE 1815 Distributed Network Protocol (DNP3) standard for electric power systems communications. It is expected to be fundamental to Smart Grid deployments.

The new standard, which the organization said improves device interoperability and strengthens security protocols, was fast-tracked for completion and was delivered in only seven months.

The set of standard is backward compatible with existing object models, while incorporating emerging Smart Grid and other new technologies.

"Two elements key to the success of the global Smart Grid are device interoperability and security; without addressing these fundamental underpinnings, the Smart Grid could be hampered by unforeseen challenges and complexities," said H. Lee Smith, president of the DNP Users Group.

"DNP3 is already one of the most widespread and commonly specified protocols in use today. Ensuring that it remains functionally relevant and evergreen requires a combination of inspired leadership, technology expertise and cooperation," said George Arnold, NIST's National Coordinator for Smart Grid Interoperability.

At the same time, the IEEE announced IEEE P1547.8, a draft standard establishing a common technical platform for distributed resources interconnection applications. The proposed standard expands upon IEEE 1547, while incorporating industry and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recommendations for improved interconnection performance functionality.

It also addresses energy storage challenges coming into play across the distributed resources and Smart Grid industries. Ratification of IEEE P1547.8, which is sponsored by the IEEE Standards Coordinating Committee 21 (SCC21), is targeted for calendar year 2012.

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